The government in Delhi, India is investigating as many as 4,500
people who may be flying without proper licenses, including as
pilot-in-command for the airline IndiGo.
Air travel has become increasingly popular, particularly among
India's burgeoning middle class, and airlines have had difficulty
hiring enough pilots to keep up with demand. After two pilots were
arrested for license fraud recently, India's Civil Aviation
Minister Vayalar Ravi has been compelled to open an investigation
into credentials held by more than 4,500 people. "I have directed
the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) to examine all the
licences issued in the past and to establish a procedure for more
detailed verification while issuing such licences," Mr Ravi told
parliament last week.
The Australian reports that the uncredentialed pilots
are only the most recent of India's aviation problems. 57 pilots
have been caught under the influence of alcohol on duty in the last
two years, but only 10 have been fired. In May, an accident in
southern India fatally injured 158 people, and the official
investigation cited a "sleepy pilot" as the cause of the crash.