15 Indian pilots lose licenses for cheating

AP News
Posted: Mar 25, 2011 6:15 AM
15 Indian pilots lose licenses for cheating

Indian aviation authorities have canceled the licenses of 15 commercial pilots for exaggerating their flying time during training, an official said Friday.

The pilots received their eligibility certificates from a flying school in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, said E.K. Bharatbhushan, the director-general of civil aviation.

Police have arrested four pilots with fake aviation licenses in the past two weeks, leading to concerns about unqualified pilots endangering the lives of thousands of travelers. Opposition lawmakers have accused the government of failing to prevent corruption in licensing.

Aviation authorities have ordered officials to check the documents of all airline pilots working in the country. They also plan to examine training and licensing procedures at all flying schools, Bharatbhushan told The Associated Press.

Authorities are concerned about whether flying schools are following rules issued by aviation regulatory authorities and if they are logging genuine flying hours for students, he said.

Air travel has boomed in India as its economy has grown in the past decade, leading to the rise of a slew of private airlines and a shortage of experienced pilots.