Aviation News

45% increase in Commercial Pilot License issuance in 2022: DGCA, ET Infra


In a recent statement, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has announced that the number of Commercial Pilot Licenses (CPLs) issued in the year 2022 reached its highest point in the last decade. Addressing concerns raised in the media regarding staff shortages affecting license issuance, the DGCA clarified several points.

The DGCA reported that the total number of CPLs issued in 2022 was the highest in the last decade, with this number already surpassed in September 2023. The DGCA has been issuing licenses and ratings at record levels over the past two years (2022 and 2023) with its existing manpower. As of August 31, 2023, there has been a 45 per cent increase in the number of licenses and ratings issued compared to the entire year of 2022.

The DGCA emphasised that claims of staff shortages causing delays in CPL issuance are also inaccurate and not based on factual information. The processing time for CPL applications varies depending on their complexity and completeness.

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The indicative timelines published by DGCA for CPL issuance and conversion are 20 and 30 working days, respectively. Despite an increase in the number of applications, the DGCA has consistently met these timelines, it stated. The average processing times achieved in 2023 for CPL issuance and conversion are 22 and 31 working days, respectively.Addressing the staff situation at DGCA, its statement clarified that the total sanctioned strength of the Operations Cadre in DGCA is 228, spread across various Directorates responsible for regulatory functions such as flight crew licensing and examination, ATCO licensing, and more. Currently, 12 officers are posted against the sanctioned strength of 15 in the Flight Crew Licensing Directorate.

The DGCA has further taken steps to fill vacant positions, including issuing promotion orders for 35 officers in the Operations Cadre and promoting 111 officers in various cadres since the sanction of new posts in August 2022. Additionally, recruitment processes are underway.

Regarding Air Traffic Controllers (ATCO) licensing, the indicative timeline published by DGCA is 20 working days, and the average time taken in 2023 is 14.5 days, demonstrating efficient processing.

For Aerodrome Licensing, the Civil Aviation Requirement specifies a minimum processing period of about three months from the date of receiving a complete application along with the aerodrome manual. This period may extend if observations or issues are not satisfactorily resolved by the applicant.

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The DGCA has recently issued Aerodrome licenses to Shivamogga Airport, Rajkot International Airport, and Utkela Airport in the last six months. The DGCA ensures that observations are promptly issued to the aerodromes and grants approval when all requirements are met.

Lastly, in the case of authorizations for establishing a Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO), the rules prescribe a 60-day timeline from application submission. While some applications are approved faster when applicants promptly adhere to compliances, others may take more time.

Currently, 25 applications are in process, with seven applications surpassing the 60-day threshold. In five cases, applicants are yet to respond to DGCA observations, while approvals for the remaining two cases are expected by the end of the month if all requirements are met. The remaining applications are within the prescribed timelines and are under processing.

  • Published On Sep 22, 2023 at 04:05 PM IST

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