New Delhi , March 14 (IANS) The issue of commercial pilots acquiring their flying licences through fake documents may only be confined to a few individuals, a senior official of the civil aviation watchdog said Monday.
“I don’t think it is as rampant as is being shown. Even till last week, there was no idea about such a matter,” a senior official with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told IANS, requesting anonymity.
According to him, the government agency is conducting a thorough check of around 4,000 commercial licences as a precautionary measure.
“When such matters were reported to us, we conducted our probe and took action, and we will keep the probe on to scrutinise other documents to make sure all proper procedures were followed,” the official said, adding that the DGCA has required mechanism to verify the credentials submitted by pilots.
“We investigated on the reported pilots and found some discrepancies which were immediately reported to police. This means that we have systems to take care of such things,” the official added.
The probe into the matter comes after Delhi Police Saturday arrested Air India pilot J.K. Verma for allegedly using a forged marksheet to acquire a licence from the country’s aviation regulator.
It was the second such arrest last week. The first pilot to be arrested was Parminder Kaur Gulati, 38, an IndiGo pilot who was suspended after a hard landing incident. She was arrested March 8 for allegedly obtaining the mandatory Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence (ALTP) using forged documents.
“We have arrested Verma and the investigations are going on. We have been given more names by the DGCA. We have received complaints about two more pilots – Meenakshi Sehgal of IndiGo and Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR – who also are suspected of having fake licences,” Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ashok Chand told IANS Monday.
Both Sehgal and Talwar are now on the run, he said.