IAF faces pilot crunch: official

February 16th, 2008 - 2:46 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, Feb 16 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) is facing a crunch situation as talented pilots have opted for commercial airlines because of better pay structures, said a top IAF commander. “IAF is facing the challenge of retaining pilots because of the huge disparity between pay scales of commercial airlines and IAF. Of late, 18 senior pilots have left IAF and joined Air India,” Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command (EAC) S.K. Bhan told reporters here Friday evening.

He said at the initial level IAF pilots get about Rs.20,000-25,000, including the flying pay, where as a leading commercial airline would offer junior pilots a salary of Rs.150,000-200,000.

“I cannot say the exact number of shortage of pilots in the IAF. But it’s true that we are short of manpower in the Eastern Command, as far as fighter pilots are concerned,” he said.

“It’s the pay package which is making a big difference. But I am hopeful the sixth Pay Commission would definitely address this problem by increasing the pay structure of IAF pilots,” Bhan added.

He said that IAF also follows a policy whereby only senior pilots, who are not required at the cockpit, can move and join the commercial airlines.

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