Clarification about news article on issuance of Pilot Licenses by DGCA

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

A few articles have appeared in various media, stating that staff shortage at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is causing delays in issuance  of pilot licenses. The news item is replete with inaccurate data and makes claims which are not based on factual information. 

1.Regarding the issue of licences to trained pilots, it is clarified that the application processing time may vary depending upon the complexity and completeness of the application submitted. The indicative timelines published for Issue & Conversion of Commercial Pilot License (CPL) by DGCA is 20 & 30 working days respectively. DGCA has been meeting the indicative timelines despite an increase in number of applications. Average timelines achieved for applications during 2023 for  CPL Issue & Conversion is 22 and 31 working days. 

The total number of Commercial Pilot Licenses issued in the year 2022 was the highest in the last decade and this number has already been surpassed in the month of September 2023. The number of CPLs in 2023 are likely to be the highest ever issued. DGCA has been issuing licenses & ratings in record numbers for the last two years (2022 & 2023) with the existing manpower. The number of licenses & ratings issued has already seen an increase of 45% as on 31 August 2023 compared to entire year of 2022.

2. On the issue of staff position at DGCA, it is clarified that the total sanctioned strength of Operations Cadre in DGCA is 228. These 228 posts are spread across various Directorates in DGCA, which perform various regulatory functions  such as flight crew licensing and examination, ATCO licensing etc. Of these 228, the sanctioned strength of Technical Manpower in Flight Crew  Licensing Directorate in DGCA Hqs is 15, against which 12 officers are currently posted. After sanction of posts, DGCA has initiated action for filling up the following posts: 

– Promotion orders have been issued in respect of 35 officers in the Operations  cadre since then.

– As many as 111 officers have been promoted in various cadres of the DGCA  since the sanction of new posts in August 2022.

– For direct recruitment, three Operations Officers have been selected by the upsc and a proposal for        recruitment of 51 AD (Ops) is under process.

– The Recruitment Rules of the position of DDG are under revision. Besides, DDG is an ex-cadre post and shortage of DDGs does not impact the processing of applications, as the competent authority for approval of licenses is the Director.

3. On the issue of Air Traffic   Controllers Licensing and Aerodrome Licensing processes, the time taken in approval of applications also include the time taken by the applicant to respond to the shortfalls raised by DGCA officers.

– ATCO Licensing: the indicative timelines published for issue of ATCO Licenses by the DGCA is 20 working days. Against this, the average time taken in 2023, so far, is 14.5 days.

– Aerodrome Licensing: as laid down in the Civil Aviation Requirement, the minimum period required for processing may be about three months from the date a complete application along with aerodrome manual is received by the DGCA. This period of three months may exceed in case the applicant is not able to resolve the observations/ issues satisfactorily.

DGCA has issued Aerodrome license to Shivamogga Airport, Rajkot International Airport and Utkela Airport in the last six months. DGCA ensures that observations are issued immediately to the aerodromes and grants approval as and when they comply with all the laid down requirements. As on date  all applications in progress are with operators for complying with the requirements.

4. Regarding licences for drone flying training institutes: 

– Unique Identification Numbers (UIN) are self-generated by the applicant/ manufacturer through Digital Sky Platform and Remote Pilot Certificates are issued by DGCA authorised RPTO through Digital Sky Platform. The statements in the article on this aspect are completely incorrect.

– The timeline to issue an authorisation to an applicant to establish a Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO) has been prescribed in the rules to be within 60 days of the submission of the application. 

– While the applications where prompt compliances are ensured by the applicants are approved faster, some  applications take more time as the applicants are not able to adhere to the laid- down compliances. As on date 25 applications are in process with DGCA. 7 applications have crossed the threshold of 60 days, of which in five cases applicants are yet to respond to DGCA observations. In the remaining two cases, approvals are expected to be granted by the end of the month provided all requirements are complied with.

– Remaining applications are within the  prescribed timelines and are under process.



Source PIB