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IAF can't spare pilots for civil aviation

The Indian Air Force is being asked to provide pilots in large numbers for the booming civil aviation market.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 12:19 IST

The Indian Air Force is being asked to provide pilots in large numbers for the booming civil aviation market but is unable to meet such requests.

The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, is quoted in the inaugural issue of India Strategic magazine as saying he had been asked for 250 pilots by state-run Air India alone, and there were requests for more from other quarters, including the paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF).

Pointing out that IAF spends heavily on pilot training, Tyagi said his force has "excellent pilots but they could be available to the civil aviation market only on completion of their contracted terms".

IAF is the biggest available source of pilots but it "does not have extra pilots", he said.

First Published: Feb 13, 2006 11:06 IST