In the wake of the fake pilot license scam, the directorate general of civil aviation is planning to conduct online exams for pilots for the first time ever, at the end of the month.
DGCA, the country’s civil aviation regulator, conducts written exams for the issuing of licences to pilots.
Though the exams were until now paper-driven, the DGCA has decided to start online exams on a trial basis to minimise cheating and forgery.
The exams for the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), which enables a co-pilot to become a commander of an aircraft, would be held at four centres — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. More than 4,000 pilots are expected to give the exam, which has six different papers.
The crime branch of the Delhi Police has apprehended 22 people between March and May this year, including pilots, trainers and DGCA officials, in the fake pilot racket.
It was found that many pilots have either submitted fake marksheets or fudged flying hours, in collusion with officials, to receive their licenses.
DGCA chief EK Bharat Bhushan told Hindustan Times that with this step, the regulator hopes to curb any malpractice or chances of forgery.
“This is the first time we are conducting online exams and I hope to hold it by July end. Everyone involved in the process have to pull in the same direction so that the exams are smooth,” he said.
Bhushan said that if the pilot project of online exams for ATPL goes on well, DGCA would hold online exams for issuance of Commercial Pilot License (CPL) as well. Pilots require a CPL to join an airline as a co-pilot.
The software for all pre-examination formalities, test modules and processing exam results have been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). The software would be implemented in a secure web application mode where hundreds of clients from several sites and cities would be able to access the central web server directly.