Domestic airline commanders may face difficulties in quitting their jobs as they may soon have to serve a notice period of one year, up from six months at present, as per latest rules proposed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
“It has been decided that every pilots working in an air transport undertaking shall give a ‘Notice Period’ of at least one year in respect of commanders and six months in respect of co-pilots to the employer indicating his intention to leave the job,” a draft rule issued by DGCA director general B.S. Bhullar said. The draft rules were approved by the Civil Aviation Ministry on May 12, 2017.
The DGCA said that training pilots for airline operations take between eight to nine months as they have “to pass technical and performance examinations of the aircraft, undergo simulator & flying training and has to undertake ‘Skill Test’ to satisfy licence requirements” before flying.
The draft DGCA rules said that the notice period can be reduced if the airline accepts pilot’s resignation earlier than the required notice period.
The Federation of Indian Airlines had last year written to the Central government demanding increase in mandatory notice period from six months to one year, after facing threat of pilot poaching from Gulf carriers and new Indian airlines.
However, the newer airlines such as Vistara and AirAsia India had opposed the move. Similarly, the Indian chapter of the International Federation of Airlines Pilots Association (IFALPA) had opposed the demand of domestic carriers to extend mandatory notice period for pilots to one year, urging the regulator not to give precedence to “commercial interests” over flight safety. Following widespread opposition, the DGCA refused to take any immediate action on the proposal.