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Scan on flight schools

New Delhi, March 21 (PTI): The aviation regulator is considering “looking into” 10,000 commercial pilot licences and will conduct a third-party audit of flying schools after six cases of licence fraud were detected among pilots.

The directorate-general of civil aviation (DGCA) has planned the steps as the licence forgery cases have given rise to fears that incompetent pilots are endangering travellers’ lives.

The regulator is also worried that a large number of Indian youth nowadays go abroad for training to become pilots and return with fake or invalid licences.

Besides the six cases of forgery, “we have got some more suspicious cases but there is nothing confirmed as yet and investigations are going on”, DGCA chief E.K. Bharat Bhushan said.

Two pilots of IndiGo and two of SpiceJet were found to have used forged mark sheets to get licences. An Air India pilot and one from MDLR are also being probed for similar offences.

All the 4,000-odd holders of airline transport pilot licences are being probed and the DGCA is “considering looking into all the commercial pilot licence holders,” he said. There are over 10,000 such licence holders in the country.

Asked whether flight training schools were following the rules laid down by the aviation regulator, Bhushan said: “There have been cases... there is suspicion that at least some of the flying hours that they are logging in the student’s log books are not genuine.”

He hinted that there were also problems with training infrastructure. Flight training academies issue commercial pilot licences to its successful students.

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