Moneycontrol
May 17, 2017 01:01 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Pilots may have to serve notice period of 1 year if DGCA proposal comes into effect

Indian aviation regulator is contemplating on a previous proposal of doubling the notice period of pilots from 6 months to one year.

The Indian aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is contemplating revisiting an earlier proposal of doubling the notice period of pilots from 6 months to one year, reports Business Standard.

This is in light of the stiff competition in the sector, and increased poaching of pilots by rival airlines.

At present, pilots have to continue their services with an airline for six months after resignation. But, if the draft proposal comes into effect, it will become mandatory for first officers to serve a notice period of one year.

What the DGCA has to say about the revival of the old proposal?

The regulator is backing the proposal saying many pilots are resigning without serving the notice period which leads to flight cancellations and inconvenience to passengers.

"Sometimes, such an abrupt action on the part of the pilots is in the form of a concerted move, which is tantamount to holding the airline to ransom and leaving the travelling public stranded. This is a highly undesirable practice and goes against the public interest, the resultant cancellation of flights causes inconvenience and harassment to the passengers," said the draft notice.

What the industry has to say?

Pilots say it is not justified for the DGCA to take such stringent measures as no mass exits are happening at any airline. In an interview to the paper, a First officer claimed this move by the regulator is a violation of the labour law and that this does not exist anywhere in the aviation space across the world.

What triggered the move?

According to industry sources, the announcement by IndiGo to start a new fleet of 50 ATR-72 for regional operations may have fueled the regulator’s decision. The airline had also faced allegations by Air India’s regional subsidiary Alliance Air on poaching their pilots by offering higher salaries.

What was the fate of the past proposal?

With the addition of new airlines in the aviation sector, the other players sharing the same space feared to lose their pilots for better offers and more salaries. To deal with this, the incumbent players had proposed to increase the time of the notice period. However, the pilots protested the move and the proposal was put aside.
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