NEW DELHI: India has a total of 17,726 registered pilots out of which the number of women pilots is 2,764.
Globally, according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, around 5 percent of pilots are women. In India, the share of women pilots is significantly higher – at over 15 percent, Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation VK Singh said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The percentage of female pilots in India is twice as high as in most Western countries, including the United States and Australia, a report said.
However, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association had recently accused the government’s Air India of actively discriminating against women pilots. According to a report, the association said that the Upgradation List excluded the names or misspelled the names of a few women pilots who took maternity leaves, thereby amounting to a denial of due service benefits like Leave Travel Concession (LTC) and adversely affecting their seniority.
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Meanwhile, the minister said that the Women in Aviation International (WAI) – India Chapter conducts many awareness programs across the country in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, industry, and leading women aviation professionals, with a special focus on young schoolgirls, especially from low-income families.
According to a press statement, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and its associated organisations have taken a number of steps to promote the training of pilots in the country. These include issuing award letters for nine new Flying Training Organisations (FTO) at five airports of Airports Authority of India (Belagavi, Jalgaon, Kalaburagi, Khajuraho, and Lilabari) with rationalised land charges, etc., digitization of approval processes at the regulator DGCA and greater empowerment of Flying Instructors, etc.
These measures are likely to enhance the flying hours at FTOs and the number of Commercial Pilot Licenses issued per annum. These will benefit all aspiring pilots, including women pilots.