IAF to increase pilot recruitment to meet shortage | delhi | Hindustan Times
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IAF to increase pilot recruitment to meet shortage

To bridge the pilot shortage it faces at present, the IAF has increased the number of recruits in its pilot training institution to fill the gaps when future inductions begin, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said today.

delhi Updated: Oct 09, 2009 20:36 IST

To bridge the pilot shortage it faces at present, the IAF has increased the number of recruits in its pilot training institution to fill the gaps when future inductions begin, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said on Friday.

But Naik said the shortfall in the number of pilots was not "alarming" and it could be meet.

"At the present moment, there is shortage (of pilots). But it is not alarming. Plans (to meet the shortfall) is already existing and they have been reactivated and energised," he said in New Delhi.

The pilots training institutions, which were hitherto admitting about 190 or 200 pilots annually, has recently increased the intake to 260, he added.

He said the move to increase the number of pilot trainees was to meet future demands, when more twin-seater Sukhoi aircraft are inducted into the IAF. "When this (Sukhoi induction) happens, we would require more pilots in the future," he told NDTV.

Naik said the IAF had also opened up the Short Service Commission (SSC) into flying branch, which was only open to women officer recruits, to men SSC recruits too.

"The fast track recruitment for SSC are also on the cards. These measures have been taken because when crunch comes, we are not found lacking," he added.

The IAF has about 1,500 pilots in all streams of flying branch, but is short from by about 300 pilots. Future inductions include about 250 Sukhois, and 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft for which the tendering process is currently in progress.