Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Pilot shortage stumps regional air connectivity

Kolkata: There is a shortage of pilots for smaller turboprop aircraft like ATR-72 and Bombardier Dash 80-Q400, minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said on Monday. The turboprop aircraft are needed to fly the regional routes and are key to the success of the ambitious regional connectivity scheme Udan.

“Every pilot has to be type-rated before he can fly or command the particular type of aircraft. A pilot of Airbus A 320 cannot fly an ATR-72 aircraft. Currently, we have a shortage of pilots for turbo-prop planes like ATRs,” said Sinha.
Type rating is a certification given by the regulatory agency Directorate General of Civil Aviation to pilots for specific aircraft category after extensive training on that type of plane. This is in addition to the basic commercial pilot licence.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of 187th annual general meeting of Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, Sinha said smaller planes like ATR, Bombardier and Beechcraft were essential for enhancing regional connectivity as under-served airports in far flung locations did not have the infrastructure needed for operation of larger aircraft like Airbus or Boeing.
02/10/18 Rohit Khanna/Times of India