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65-plus pilots can’t fly, DGCA tells corporates, state govts

The DGCA has directed all non-scheduled operators, corporates and state Govts that pilots over the age of 65 cannot fly their planes, reports Sidhartha Roy.
Hindustan Times | By Sidhartha Roy, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2008 11:35 PM IST

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has directed all non-scheduled operators, corporates and state governments that pilots over the age of 65 cannot fly their planes. DGCA has found out that many overage pilots fly such chartered flights by misusing their private pilot licenses.

In a circular issued recently by the DGCA, it has been clarified that the upper limit for pilots to fly commercially is 65 years. “It has come to our notice that many corporates and state governments employ overage pilots to fly their aircraft. These pilots have private pilot license (PPL), which allow them to fly for personal use but they require a commercial pilot license (CPL) or airline transport pilot license (ATPL) to fly planes for a corporate or a state government,” said a senior DGCA official.

“We have only circulated the existing Rule 28 A of the Indian Aircraft Act to make it clear that overage pilots wouldn’t be allowed to fly even non-scheduled aircraft. We have found out that many people are not following the norms,” he said. At present, the country has 65 non-scheduled airline companies, apart from corporates and state governments who have their own planes.

The circular was issued by DGCA on June 25 and was signed by Joint Director General AK Chopra.

The retirement age for pilots was increased from 60 to 65 years sometime back keeping in mind the shortage of experienced commanders. “Pilots misuse their PPL to fly these chartered planes as they are paid well. Corporates and state governments too prefer the experienced old hands,” he said. “Pilots over 65 cannot fly commercially or for remuneration,” he said.

DGCA Sources said that though pilots over 65 years of age could be active and healthy enough to fly, it could still be risky keeping their age in mind.

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