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Govt may raise pilots' retirement age

November 16, 2005 18:36 IST
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Pilots may soon get to fly beyond the age of 61 years.

The government is considering a proposal to further raise their retirement age due to acute shortage of trained pilots in the country.

At least, 100 commanders can be trained in just one year if the retirement age is raised from 61 to 62 years.

"The Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) is working on the plan," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Wednesday.

In recent months, the government has relaxed the requirement of flying hours for pilots from 250 hours to 200.

Pilots are now required to give a notice period of at least six months before leaving their jobs. The notice period can be reduced if an airline provides a no objection certificate and accepts the resignation earlier.

Due to shortage of pilots in the country, airlines have resorted to poaching which often leads to cancellation of flights. In some cases, even groups of pilots resigned together without notice and an airline was forced to cancel flights at the last minute.

According to the Aircrafts Rule 1937, the government can debar a pilot from holding any license if he acts against public interest.

The government is also increasing training capacity of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy (IGRUA) to meet the growing requirement of pilots in the country.

In the past three years, several airlines -- including flagship carrier Air India -- have recruited foreign pilots on yearly contracts.

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