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Expert panel examining pilot selection process

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 21:45

New Delhi: An experts committee, set up to plug
loopholes in the pilot licensing system and revamp it, is
examining the prevailing system of examination for selecting
pilots as well as aircraft engineers.
The broad-based committee of the Civil Aviation Ministry,
which has already held its first meeting to suggest ways and
means to make the system fool-proof, would also examine the
introduction of an effective system of cross-verification of
documents required for issue of licences by the aviation
regulator DGCA.

The Committee, headed by Joint Secretary in the Ministry
Rohit Nandan, has sought suggestions and views from the public
and all stakeholders, an official spokesperson said today.

The panel also has representatives from the Directorate
General of Civil Aviation, Indian Air Force, National
Informatics Centre, Air India and independent experts.
Besides recommending changes to make the examination system
"secure, credible, efficient and in line with modern and best
practices", it would suggest introduction of electronic
technology in conduct of examinations and licensing procedure
and processes.

"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 S N A
Zaidi had told agency earlier.

The Ministry, he had said, was "seriously pursuing this
matter" and hoped concrete suggestions would emerge after the
12-member panel submits its report in four to five weeks.

It would go into the systemic loopholes which could be
responsible for the charges of bribery and issuing of flying
licences to pilots on the basis of forged documents and
recommend measures to check them, official sources said.

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 started
evolving new procedures to strengthen the existing audit
process. Such audits are carried out annually for renewal of
licences 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. This would
address the problem of fudging of marksheets or logging of
flying hours to a great extent by reducing human interface.

The DGCA is already in consultations with organisations
like the NIC and the NASSCOM in this regard.


First Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 21:45
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