Pilots’ licence issue may haunt KfA - The New Indian Express

Pilots’ licence issue may haunt KfA

Published: 25th December 2012 09:32 AM

Last Updated: 25th December 2012 10:05 AM

Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines’ (KfA) aspirations to resume operations in a phased manner may not be a smooth sailing one as most pilots are yet to get their IR/LR certifications revalidated and would not be able to resume flying duties. 

According to civil aviation guidelines, each pilot is required to get an Instrument Rating (IR) every 12 months and Line Operating Sight Training (LR) every 6 months (extendable by 2 months). “Most of the ATR pilots’ licences are not valid and some of the A320 pilots licences will expire soon on account of this certification,” sources, on the condition of anonymity told Express.

In April this year, Express reported that the airline saw an average of 15-20 pilots’ licences expiring each month. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the last batch for IR/LR tests from the airline were sent in July. Though such tests are conducted in many places across the globe, KfA sends its pilots to Bangkok, Brussels and Malaysia among other locations. But the troubles do not end there as the liquor baron Vijay Mallya-owned cash-strapped carrier also face a shortage of training staff as well. “Any pilot who has to train or examine other pilots should have a mandatory 10 flights in the last 30 days,” a source said and added, “since there has been no flying operations, there is not one who can train us.”

Sources said that pilots are tested frequently, but with no trainers they would have to look at external trainers from the Flight Inspection Directorate of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), who are authorised to test other examiners. Sources also said that DGCA would have to consider this a special case and then send its personnel for the purpose.

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