India to check all pilots after four caught with fake papers

Indian authorities have begun checking the licences of all airline pilots in the country after at least four were found to be flying using fake documents.

Two pilots were arrested last week for using fake certificates to gain licences, including one with national carrier Air India who falsified his qualifications. The other two pilots were being investigated for irregularities in their flying licences.

Documents of all 4,000 pilots flying commercial aircraft in the country will be scrutinised, said Bharat Bhushan, director general of civil aviation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A pilot was arrested last week after damaging an aircraft while landing. She was found to have used fake documents to get a licence. "Fake licences are very few, so there is no need to panic," Mr Bhushan said.

Opposition MPs yesterday accused the government of failing to check corruption in granting licences and endangering the lives of thousands of travellers.

Civil aviation minister Vyalar Ravi told parliament last week that authorities had taken action against 57 pilots who had reported for duty drunk during the past two years. Ten were fired and others had their licences suspended or were taken off the flying roster for a period.

Air travel has boomed in India on the back of a growing economy, which has resulted in private airlines struggling to hire pilots.