Despite clearing tests in 1999, Lakhbir Singh got his Commercial Pilot Licence after a delay of 20 years and blames the authorities for his skewed career path.
A 43-year-old pilot has filed a damages suit totalling Rs 98.7 crore against the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Haryana Civil Aviation Department, the Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation, and the former chief flying instructor at the institute.
Lakhbir Singh, who filed the suit at the Chandigarh District Court, is a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) holder. In his complaint, he alleged that he could never take up a job as a commercial pilot since he got his CPL in 2018. Despite clearing tests in 1999, he got his CPL after a delay of 20 years and blames the authorities for his skewed career path.
Singh is a resident of Mohali and works as a ground instructor at the Patiala Aviation Club, reported the Indian Express.
In the petition, Singh mentioned that he received the CPL from DGCA on April 18, 2018. However, as per directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, it is to be considered in effect from September 13, 1999. His complaint is scheduled for a hearing on September 30, once the authorities involved file a response.
In his petition, Singh stated that on May 26, 1995, he saw an advertisement inviting Haryana domiciles to apply for courses on Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). He decided to enroll himself in the CPL course and undergo 250 hours of flight training to pass the tests.
He was supposed to be eligible for flying commercial planes in three years, but he alleged that the authorities involved delayed his training deliberately to affect losses upon him.
Singh alleged that he passed all the technical papers in a timely manner and thus, became entitled to receive the Haryana Flying Quota, which was not granted to him by the authorities in line with his entitlement. Due to non-grant of the quota, not only was the flying training delayed but also the two-year validity of the knowledge papers lapsed.
Singh had moved the High Court thrice in the past, one of them being in 1997, following which he could complete his 250 hours of training. Unfortunately, since two of his papers had already lapsed by that time, the DGCA refused to issue him a CPL.The legal battle continued for years but Singh held his ground and was finally allowed to write the required examinations once again. He cleared them and finally at the age of 42, he received his flying licence.The Great Diwali Discount!
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