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Tue, Mar 22, 2011

As Many As 4500 'Pilots' Under Investigation In Delhi

Many Could Be Flying Without Proper Credentials

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.



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