Nearly 99 per cent of respondents have opposed the DGCA's proposal to extend the notice period for senior pilots or commanders to one year from the current six months, a senior government official said. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had put up the proposal for stakeholders' consultation in May and it received 281 comments. Nearly 278 or 98.93 per cent of the responses are strongly against the proposal, the official said on the condition of anonymity. While a final decision is yet to be taken, the feedback may not be a reason for a reconsideration, he said. The DGCA had in May had proposed to make it mandatory for commanders to serve a one-year notice period and for first officers (or co-pilots) to serve for six months after tendering their resignation. At present, both category of pilots are required to serve a notice period of six months. The DGCA mooted the proposal after several airlines complained that pilots often "blackmail" and "hold the airlines to ransom" by threatening to quit, the official said. A pilot's body had also written to the DGCA on the matter asking it to shun its plan on the grounds that "a notice period is an administrative and HR function" and, therefore, it was a matter between a pilot and his or her airline. The Federation of Indian Pilots, which calls itself a body of like-minded pilots cutting across airlines, also said the existing notice period of six months was itself against international standards of three-month notice. According to it, the proposal could be "exploitative" as a long notice period will allow airlines to be "vindictive" to those quitting their organisations. A global pilots' grouping, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA), too wrote to the regulatory body saying the new rule could seriously impact aviation safety. If the pilot is distracted and being forced to remain with the current airline, the potential for making an error in performing these tasks is greatly increased, it had written. The Canada-based body represents more than 1,00,000 pilots across the world, as per its website.
Nearly 99% respondents oppose 1-year notice period for pilots
Press Trust of India |