India has 17,726 pilots but only 2,764 are women: Govt
At the same time, the share of women pilots in India is significantly higher than the global average of just 5 per cent.
Out of the 17,726 registered pilots in India, 2,764 are women pilots, the government informed Parliament on Monday. This, according to the government, is still higher than the global average. In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation General (Dr) VK Singh (Retd) cited data from the International Society of Women Airline Pilots which noted that globally, only around 5 per cent of pilots are women. In India, the share of women pilots is significantly higher, at over 15 per cent, he added.
The minister said that the Civil Aviation Ministry had taken steps to enhance the training of pilots. These steps include the issuance of award letters for nine new Flying Training Organisations at five airports of the Airports Authority of India (Belagavi, Jalgaon, Kalaburagi, Khajuraho and Lilabari), digitisation of approval processes at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
The minister outlined that the steps could enhance flying hours at FTOs and the number of Commercial Pilot Licenses issued per annum. These steps will also benefit all aspiring pilots, including women pilots. The minister further said that awareness programmes had been launched by the Women in Aviation International-India Chapter across the country in partnership with the Civil Aviation ministry, industry and leading women aviation professionals.
Airlines lost Rs 19,564 crore in 2020-21
General VK Singh also informed the house that the aviation sector in India had been impacted due to disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. According to government estimates, the losses incurred by airlines and airports in India in 2020-21 was Rs 19,564 crore and Rs 5,116 crore respectively.
To recall, scheduled domestic operations were suspended from March 25, 2020, following the pandemic outbreak. They were subsequently resumed in a calibrated manner from May 25, 2020, with 33 per cent capacity and fare capping. After assessing the current scenario of the Covid-19 pandemic, the capacity restrictions have been relaxed on September 18, 2021, and the domestic operations were restored without any restrictions of the capacity.
The minister informed that the Narendra Modi government had in principle given the go-ahead for setting up 21 Greenfield Airports across the country. At present, eight Greenfield airports -- Shirdi in Maharashtra, Durgapur in West Bengal, Kalaburagi in Karnataka, Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, Pakyong in Sikkim, Kannur in Kerala, Orvakal in Andhra Pradesh and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh -- have been operationalized.