Pilots retirement age may be increased

New Delhi, Nov 16 | Updated: Nov 17 2005, 05:30am hrs
In a bid to overcome the shortage of trained pilots in the country, the director general of civil aviation (DGCA) is considering increasing the retirement age of professional pilots beyond the current 61 years.

The DGCA is looking at raising the retirement age to beyond 61 years, especially for the commanders, civil aviation minister Praful Patel told reporters here on Wednesday. According to him, the ministry had already given its approval to the proposal and the DGCA will come out with guidelines raising the age limit very soon, Mr Patel added.

The DGCAs move to raise the retirement age of pilots would result in adding over 100 trained pilots, Mr Patel said. You will get more than 100 Commanders if the age limit is raised. There is a shortage of between 150 and 180 pilots in the two public sector carriers, Air-India and Indian Airlines. The new as well as old private carriers have employed large number of foreign pilots as commanders to overcome the shortage.

This will be the second time in the last nine months since the DGCA has decided to raise the retirement age of pilots. The pilots retirement age was recently raised in March 2005 to 61 years from 60 years when the DGCA issued a notification that stipulated professional pilots would be allowed to fly up to the age of 61.