New Delhi: Aiming to plug loopholes in the
pilot licensing system and revamp it completely, a broad-based
committee of the Civil Aviation Ministry has held its first
meeting to suggest ways and means to make the system
"In the short-term, this committee will suggest steps
to plug the loopholes in the system, if any. In the long-run,
they will consider technology-driven solutions having less
human interface," Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary SNA
Zaidi said here.
The ministry, he said, was "seriously pursuing this
matter" and hoped that concrete suggestions would emerge after
the 12-member panel submits its report in the next five weeks.
The committee, headed by a Joint Secretary in the
ministry, has representatives from aviation regulator
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Indian Air
Force, National Informatics Centre (NIC), Air India and
independent aviation experts.
It would go into the systemic loopholes which could be
responsible for the charges of bribery and issuing of flying
licenses to pilots on the basis of forged documents and
recommend measures to check them, official sources said.
The panel, which held its first meeting a few days
ago, would also suggest steps to make the licensing
examination system more transparent and fool-proof.
Among the measures to check fudging of records to
secure pilot licenses, the DGCA has decided to conduct third
party audits of all flying schools in the country and has
started evolving new procedures to strengthen the audit
process. In any case, such audits are carried out annually for
renewal of licenses of these schools.
Apart from its own team of officials, the aviation
regulator is planning to rope in independent experts and even
some of its retired and experienced officials to carry out the
audit of over 40 flying schools across the country, they said.
It is also planning to create an online national
registry of pilots which would have a complete dossier on
them, including their licenses and qualifications.
The DGCA is already in consultations with
organisations like the NIC and the NASSCOM in this regard.
They said this online registry would address the
problem of fudging of marksheets or logging of flying hours to
a great extent by reducing human interface.