Hit by one of the biggest scams in India’s aviation history, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has initiated a series of steps to streamline the process of granting pilot licences.
The aviation regulator has done away with the system of special session examinations, introduced measures to verify the authenticity of foreign licences, and put in place a system for cross-verification of results from the examination wing of the DGCA before issue of licence, among other initiatives.
Earlier this year, it was found that a number of pilots had got airline transport pilot licence (ATPL) by forging mark sheets. Investigations showed that logbooks were fudged to obtain commercial pilot’s licence.
“An expert committee has been formed to look into DGCA’s examination and licensing system and come up with recommendations,” DGCA chief EK Bharat Bhushan said.
Verification of examination results from the examination wing has been made mandatory before issuing licences, a computerised system of licence is being reviewed, steps have been taken to stop the entry of unwarranted persons into the DGCA office and an audit of all approved flying institutes is being undertaken.
The DGCA will verify the authenticity of foreign licences from its issuing authority before converting any foreign licence into an Indian licence. All pilots who convert to Indian licences will need to undergo skill tests.
Those who want to go abroad for flying training will need to clear a technical examination conducted by DGCA’s examination wing before a no-objection certificate is issued in case of endorsement on aircraft below 5,700 kg. DGCA will hold online ATPL exams from July in New Delhi and other identified centres. Thereafter, the online exam will be extended to other pilot licence exams.