Wednesday, February 20, 2019

After AI & Jet, DGCA delaying pilots’ salaries

Mumbai: After Air India and Jet Airways, now Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been delaying its pilots’ salaries. The last salary DGCA paid its flight operations inspectors was over two months ago for November. Since then, neither have the inspectors received any word from DGCA on when the December and January salaries will be paid, nor have they been told about the reason for delay.

DGCA Flight Standard Directorate has around 75 pilots on contract, as flight operations inspectors (FOI). During the recent US government shutdown, non-payment of salaries to Transportation Safety Administration officials and air traffic controllers had raised concerns of air safety. “It’s not that bad. But morale is very low. Office talk often veers towards unpaid EMIs, breaking fixed deposits, etc,’’ a source said. Other DGCA staff, who are central government employees, have been receiving salaries on time.

FOIs carry out flight inspections, airline/charter operator certifications and various authorisations. They include pilots with valid flying licences, who were flying with airlines, aviation companies before they took up the temporary job posting with DGCA and retired pilots. The salary they draw from the government regulator are in tune with what they would earn in the aviation industry. “FOI salaries range from Rs 4-9 lakh per month. As of date, DGCA owes each FOI Rs 15-25 lakh,” said a source.
Director-general of civil aviation B S Bhullar said, “Salary payments, in general, not only in DGCA are linked to budget approvals, particularly in the last quarter of the financial year. In DGCA, probably they are clearing salaries today. It is our in-house organisational matter which we are continually discuss among ourselves.”
20/02/19 Manju V/Times of India