NEW DELHI: Aviation regulator DGCA has issued 1,081 commercial pilot licenses in 2022, which is the highest for any year in the last one decade, according to official data.
The record issuance of Commercial Pilot Licenses (CPLs) also comes at a time when the country’s civil aviation sector is recovering at a fast pace after being hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the domestic air traffic is inching towards the pre-pandemic level.
A senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told PTI on Sunday that 1,081 CPLs have been issued in 2022 till December 6 and the number is likely to cross 1,100 by the year-end.
This is also the highest for any year since 2011, as per the data. In 2014, the number of CPLs issued stood at 896 while the count was at 862 in 2021.
In 2015, the CPLs issued declined to 394 and rose to 537 in 2016. Further, it increased to 552 in 2017 and 640 in 2018.
The data showed that in 2019, the number of CPLs touched 744 before declining to 578 in 2020.
The count of CPLs issued stood at 823, 654 and 591 in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.
An individual is eligible to apply for CPL after completing at least 200 hours of flying and fulfilling other conditions.
Besides, the individual has to clear theory papers and once successful, the CPL is given for a period of five years subject to complying with various requirements.
An increase in the number of Flying Training Organisations (FTOs) and most of them working on two shifts are helping pilot aspirants to clock more flying hours. Also, the license application process is online through the regulator’s eGCA platform, the official said.
DGCA issues three types of licenses — CPL, Air Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and Private Pilot License (PPL).
While CPL allows a pilot to start flying as a co-pilot, ATPL permits a pilot to be the commander. PPL is issued for operating private planes.
According to the data from the DGCA, as many as 657 ATPLs have been issued this year till December 6.
There are 34 flying training organisations in the country.
Currently, there are around 240 planes for training activities at various flying training organisations.
Mostly two and four-seater Cessna aircraft are used for flying training activities.
The training of a pilot, including flying training, before he or she applies for the CPL is estimated to cost up to Rs 50 lakh.
DGCA has issued more than 25,000 pilot licenses till now and there are estimated to be 11,000 to 12,000 active pilots. Out of them, 9,000 to 10,000 pilots are operating commercial planes, according to the senior official.
On December 10, domestic airlines carried more than 4.14 lakh passengers, as per the latest data from the civil aviation ministry.
Also, airlines, including the newly-launched Akasa Air, are expanding their operations amid rising travel demand.
Source: Press Trust of India