Govt orders probe in all pilot licences

Concerned over instances of use of forged documents to get pilot`s licences, the government on Tuesday said it has directed investigations into all licences issued in the past.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2011, 19:22 PM IST

New Delhi: Concerned over instances of use of
forged documents to get pilot`s licences, the government on Tuesday
said it has directed investigations into all licences issued
in the past and set up an experts committee to look into the
current examination system.
"I have directed the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil
Aviation) to examine all the licences issued in the past and
to establish a procedure for more detailed verification while
issuing such licences," Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi
said in Rajya Sabha.

Expressing concern over the arrest of Capt Parminder Kaur
Gulati of IndiGo airline and subsequent detection of three
more such cases, he said the government also proposed to set
up an experts committee under his Ministry to look into
various aspects of the prevailing examination system.

"I propose to set up an expert committee in the Ministry
to examine the current examination system, need for
introduction of e-technology, new procedures and process and
effective system of cross-verification of documents filed by
candidates for various licenses in DGCA", Ravi said.

Till date, about 4,500 Airline Transport Pilot Licences
(ATPLs) have been issued by the DGCA.

The DGCA, while examining the ATPL issued during the past
one year, detected that Capt Swaran Singh Talwar (MDLR
Airlines), Capt Meenakshi Singhal (IndiGo) and Capt J K Verma
(Air India) submitted forged Result Cards with DGCA to obtain
ATPLs.
FIRs have been lodged in all these cases, Ravi said.

The cases of forged documents came to light when Capt
Gulati landed an aircraft on its nose-wheel, instead of the
rear wheels. During the enquiry into the incident, it was
found that there had been other instances in the past of her
"exhibiting similar deficiencies in landing techniques."

Later it was found that Gulati had not passed the pilot
examination and fraudulently obtained the licence.
Subsequently, the case was handed over to the police, Ravi
said.

The DGCA, the Minister said, conduct written tests for
pilot licences eight times throughout the year and a candidate
is required to pass all the papers, besides acquiring the
minimum necessary flying hours, to obtain a Commercial Pilots
Licence (CPL) or ATPL.

For an ATPL, a candidate is also required to pass written
and oral exams in air navigation, aviation meteorology, radio
aids and instruments and acquire a minimum 1500 flying hours.
The Central Examination Organisation of DGCA conducts these
examinations.

PTI