India revokes licences of 14 'fake pilots'

Mar 28 2011

_51631943_airportdelhiap304.jpgThe licences of 14 pilots have been revoked by India's aviation authorities as they were allegedly proved to be flying with fake documents.

A police probe found a flying club had issued "fake records" of their training sessions, India's civil aviation chief, Bharat Bhushan, told the BBC .

Earlier this month the licences of seven pilots were cancelled because of fake certificates.

The licences of 4,000 pilots are being checked for irregularities.

Mr Bhushan said that the police had discovered that a flying club in the northern state of Rajasthan had issued "fake records" of training sessions for 14 pilots.

"Based on the police complaints, we have revoked the licences of 14 commercial pilots," he said.

There have been a series of scandals involving Indian airline pilots recently - even though the country has a relatively good safety record.

Earlier this month authorities said that they were taking action against 57 pilots who had reported for duty drunk over the past two years.

Over the same period there have also been reports of pilots falling asleep while flying and pilots fighting with air crew.

The BBC's Soutik Biswas in Delhi says the massive growth in India's aviation sector over recent years has presented serious regulatory challenges to the authorities.

India now has the world's fourth largest number of domestic fliers after the US, China and Japan.

In China, 200 pilots were found with fake papers in 2008, according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

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