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IAF may let pilots go to Govt airlines

The move aims to keep the IAF flock together in wake of the civil aviation boom, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 11:10 IST

The India Air Force is trying its best to keep its flock together in the wake of the civil aviation boom in the country. It is considering a proposal to allow its pilots a deputation in government-run airlines.

A private airline pilot gets up to Rs 5 lakh per month whereas an IAF pilot gets a maximum of Rs 50,000. Government-run airlines pay around Rs 1 lakh to their pilots.

"We want our pilots to reap the benefits of the boom and therefore the proposal has been mooted," an IAF official said. "Pilots will be allowed to go for a limited period on a rotational basis."

Though 278 pilots left the IAF between 2002 and July 2005, sources say only 150 of the 4,500 posts of pilots are lying vacant.

Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi admitted there was a problem — but not a big one. "The IAF is discouraging pilots from going because of its needs," he said on Tuesday. "Suppose I have 100 aeroplanes and 95 pilots; obviously I can’t let them go."

First Published: Apr 12, 2006 00:00 IST