The number of Commercial Pilot Licenses (CPLs) issued has recorded a steady rise over the past few years along with the growth in the aviation sector in the country, with 699 already issued in the first six months of this year as against 862 in 2021.
As per the Civil Aviation Ministry’s data, a total of 4,612 commercial pilot licenses have been issued in the country since 2016. The ministry has said that there is no shortage of pilots in India.
“There is, however, a marginal shortage of commanders on certain types of aircraft and the same is being managed by utilising foreign pilots by issuing Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorisation (FATA).
“As the air traffic increases, the requirement of pilots will go up. As per industry projections, there may be a need for 1,000 pilots per annum over the next five years. Given the growing requirement in the domestic aviation sector, most trained pilots get employed,” Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had told the Parliament recently.
There were 34 Flying Training Organisations (FTO) as of March 31, 2022. Since then, four more have commenced operations – two at Karnataka’s Kalaburagi, and one each at Maharashtra’s Jalgaon and Assam’s Lilabari – taking the number to 38 as of July 31, 2022. Currently, there are six approved type rating training organisations in India that are providing aircraft type rating training after obtaining CPL.
FTOs are established and operated largely by private entities under the regulatory supervision of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It has issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to two operators to set up FTOs at Salem and Hosur airports in Tamil Nadu.