Aviation regulator to screen 4,000 pilots for fake licences

March 14th, 2011 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) With more commercial pilots suspected to be flying with fake licences, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Monday said it is scrutinising nearly 4,000 licences, particularly those issued in the past one year.

“It is a problem of pilots submitting a fake marksheet. We will be taking into scrutiny all the pilot licences that have been issued in the last one year, nearly 3,000-4,000 licences,” DGCA chief Bharat Bhushan told news channel CNN-IBN Monday.

The crackdown comes after the Delhi Police Saturday arrested Air India pilot J.K. Verma for allegedly using a forged marksheet to procure a licence from the country’s aviation regulator.

It was the second such arrest last week. The first pilot to be arrested was Parminder Kaur Gulati, 38, an IndiGo pilot who was suspended after a hard landing incident. She was arrested March 8 for allegedly obtaining the mandatory Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (ALTP) using forged documents.

“We have arrested Verma and the investigations are going on. We have been given more names by the DGCA. We have received complaints about two more pilots - Meenakshi Sehgal of IndiGo and Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR - who also are suspected of having fake licences,” Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ashok Chand told IANS Monday.

Both the pilots are absconding.

“In the case of Gulati, there was a problem about landing and she had some deficiencies in her landing technique. Then when I took a look at her record, it was a shock that she had obtained the licence on the basis of marksheets which were not authenticated,” Bhushan said.

“Suspecting the same in some other records, DGCA took a detailed investigation and we saw more such cases and the verification is continuing. So far there have been four cases and two have been apprehended - Gulati and Verma. Investigations are still on,” he added.

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