Fake pilot licence alert in India
Published 14/03/2011 | 12:43
India is checking the licences of all its airline pilots 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 a pilot with national carrier Air India who falsified his qualifications.
The other two pilots were being investigated for irregularities in their licences.
The licences and other documents of all 4,000 pilots flying commercial aircraft in the country will be scrutinised, said Bharat Bhushan, director general of civil aviation.
A second pilot was arrested last week after damaging an aircraft while landing and a scrutiny of her papers showed she had used fake documents to get a licence, Mr Bhushan said.
"Fake licences are very few so there is no need to panic," he said.
Opposition MPs 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 reported for duty drunk over the past two years.
Ten were fired and some others had their licences suspended or were taken off the flying roster for short periods.
Air travel has boomed in India on the back of a growing economy, leading to the rise of private airlines that have been struggling to hire pilots.