1-year notice rule for pilots: Delhi HC seeks govt, DGCA reply on plea
As per amended Civil Aviation Requirement, the notice period may be reduced if the air transport undertaking provides a no-objection certificate to a pilot and accepts resignation earlier than the period stipulated in the new rules.india Updated: Aug 31, 2017 18:50 IST
The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre, DGCA and Air India on a plea challenging the decision that senior pilots have to serve 12-month notice period before quitting or shifting to another airline.
Justice Vibhu Bakru sought response of the Centre, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the airline, on the petition by Indian Pilots Guild, representing senior Air India pilots who operate wide-body aircraft.
The petition has challenged the DGCA rules announced on August 16 that a one-year notice period will have to be served by commanders and six months by co-pilots.
The notice period, however, may be reduced if the air transport undertaking provides a no-objection certificate to a pilot and accepts resignation earlier than the period stipulated in the new rules, as per the amended Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR).
During the hearing, Central government standing counsel Gaurang Kanth, who also appeared for the DGCA, a regulatory body for civil aviation, said it has the powers to issue directions.
He said there is a huge shortage of pilots and that it takes 8-9 months to train one and the government has to ensure that an airline runs smoothly.
To this, the court said that now a days, airlines run smoothly as they have a management of their own.
The matter has now been fixed for hearing on October 16.
The DGCA had said on August 16 that “during the notice period, neither the pilot shall refuse to undertake the flight duties assigned to him, nor shall the employer deprive the pilot of his legitimate rights and privileges with respect to the assignment of his duties”.
In May, it had mooted the proposal to increase the notice period after various domestic airlines, under the banner of Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), urged it to make it one year arguing they put in a lot of time and effort on training them.
Various domestic pilot bodies had, however, opposed the proposal on the ground that it was “exploitative” as longer notice period would mean airlines can be “vindictive” to those quitting.
First Published: Aug 31, 2017 18:50 IST