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Demand for pilots to surge in coming years

The rapid growth of airlines and air passengers would necessitate an additional 2000-3000 commercial pilots in the country.

india Updated: Nov 28, 2006 14:42 IST

The rapid growth of airlines and air passengers would necessitate an additional 2000-3000 commercial pilots in the country during the next 5-10 years, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Replying to Supplementaries during Question Hour, Patel said for augmenting the availability of air pilots, their retirement age had been increased from 58 to 65 years.

Besides the Directorate General of Civil Aviation according permission for setting up new pilot training academy, he said the capacity of people undergoing pilot training at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udaan Academy (IGRUA) was being raised from 40 to 100.

He said the DGCA has approved a total of 20 flying training institutes including modernisation of the IGRUA.

In reply to a query, the Minister said some airlines have reported low profit or even losses, but the actual figures will be available only at the end of the financial year.

To a query on the preparedness of airport operators and airlines for low visibility operations, the Minister said they were being prepared under the CAT II and CAT III technologies for the purpose.