NEW DELHI (AFP) – India’s aviation regulator said Friday it had cancelled the licences of 14 more commercial pilots caught forging their qualifications in a spreading scandal that has rocked passenger confidence.
Cases of pilots exaggerating their flying time while training and other irregularities have emerged since a captain who made several bad landings was found to have submitted faked paperwork to gain her licence.
At least six pilots, including from the Air India, Indigo and SpiceJet airlines, have already been arrested as authorities check thousands of licences.
“We have cancelled the licences of 14 pilots who were flying passenger planes. All of them had submitted fake training records,” Directorate General of Civil Aviation chief E.K. Bharat Bhusan told AFP.
All 14 pilots had procured their eligibility certificates from the Rajasthan State Flying School in western India, where police are checking instructors’ logbooks.
A pilot needs to have completed a minimum 200 hours of flying to get a licence but several of the pilots from Rajasthan State Flying School had only completed 50-60 hours, officials say.