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DGCA mulling action against airlines for lapses on pilot test

The airlines have to carry out the PPCs every six months but several of them are not conducting these tests on time, a senior DGCA official said.

Updated:October 26, 2014, 3:02 PM IST
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DGCA mulling action against airlines for lapses on pilot test
The airlines have to carry out the PPCs every six months but several of them are not conducting these tests on time, a senior DGCA official said.

New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA is contemplating action against some airlines, including Air India, for not carrying out the mandatory pilot proficiency checks (PPCs) as per the stipulated timeframe.

The airlines have to carry out the PPCs every six months but several of them are not conducting these tests on time, a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said. The PPC is an essential requirement for maintaining the validity of a pilot's licence.

If these tests are not conducted on time as per the rules, the licence becomes invalid. DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar has sought a list of airlines which have not carried out the PPCs and was considering action against them, the official said.

Asked about reports that Air India had 102 pilots on its rolls who are flying without a valid licence, the official said the national carrier has sent a report to the regulator on Saturday.

"It will be examined soon and the future course of action decided accordingly," he said. Air India's case came to light weeks after DGCA acted against Jet Airways on the grounds that 131 of its pilots were flying with "lapsed" licences.

DGCA has also ordered suspension of Jet's training chief following the findings. When contacted, an Air India spokesman said the problem arose after DGCA issued a new rule from September last year requiring pilots to undergo PPCs every six months.

The earlier rule, too, mandated twice-a-year PPCs but the first check could be carried out within the first eight months and the second in the next four months. "This new six-monthly check would have required us to renew nearly 800 licences overnight, which was not possible," the Air India spokesperson said. He said that all the licences have been renewed till date.

"At present, therefore, there are no pilots flying without a valid licence," he said. All the said 102 Air India pilots operate its wide-body Boeing fleet. In its report to DGCA, Air India has sought that the regulator renew the licences after taking "a sympathetic view".

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