This article is interesting because it is revealing the very deep malaise in India’s aviation sector which has been at the root of so many problems we have been reading in the papers lately, from the AI debauchery and KF absurdity to the pilot licensing scandal. The aviation authorities in India, may it be the AAI (airports) or the DGCA (civil aviation) or even the defence sector (read the infamous LCA project), are all suffering of the same syndrome. This is best summarised with the following words:
“What can India do for me?”
Self-serving civil servants have been the bane of Nehruvian socialism and remains the biggest obstacle to India’s rise. Here is a typical issue that arise from officials of Airport Authority of India seeking more money and yet not realising that they are shooting themselves in the foot tomorrow. Today there is NOT a single flying school with a reputation in the country because it is cheaper to fly to the US, rent a house near a flying school, pay the tuition fees and your living expenses for the next 6 months and return with your CPL to ensure a job in the ever expanding airline industry then to try to get the equivalent license locally… unless you want to buy a licence. If you want a PPL then forget about it!
The reason is rather straightforward, with aviation authorities reportedly requesting 1 lakh Rs per aircraft seat (private communication from air force officer) to register a new jumbo in the country, you can imagine they are simply not interested in promoting general aviation as it does not have the ‘business’ opportunities to make it worth their time. This short-sightedness destroys the grass root of the sector, potentially talented aviation engineers and pilots are shut out form a market that is already saturated with foreign workers due to a restricted pool of local talent. This has a two negative impact for our future, an aviation sector dominated by external talent and regulating institutions that will suffer from a lack of talented minds resulting in rote-learning, self-serving bureaucrats that have no interest in improving the system.