The International Society of Women Airline Pilots threw light on the wide gender gap in the aviation sector since only 5 per cent of the total pilots in the world are women. However, India exceeds the global average by a safe 10 per cent. India has a total of 17,726 registered pilots, out of which the number of women pilots is 2,764, which is the highest in the world at 15 per cent. Women pilots in India are twice as high as in several developed countries like the United States of America and Australia.
Indian Commercial Pilots' Association Files Complaint
On the other hand, the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association had accused Air India of discriminating against women pilots in the organization. The report mentioned that the Association had excluded or misspelt the names of several women pilots who had taken maternity leaves. Therefore, the women were denied benefits like Leave Travel Concession (LTC), adversely affecting their seniority, The New Indian Express reported.
'Ministry Conducts Several Awareness Programmes'
The Minister of Civil Aviation, VK Singh, said in the Rajya Sabha that the India Chapter of Women in Aviation International (WAI) and the Ministry collaborate to conduct various awareness programs to lead women, aviation professionals, with a particular focus on young school girls, and to those coming from low-income groups.
The press statement by the ministry lists several awareness programmes that they have undertaken that include issuing award letters for nine new Flying Training Organisations (FTO) at five airports of the Airports Authority of India (Belagavi, Jalgaon, Kalaburagi, Khajuraho, and Lilabari) with rationalized land charges, digital approval of several processes through the Director-General of Civil Aviation and empowering flying instructors.These measures would increase the flying hours at the FTOs and, eventually, the number of Pilot Licenses issued annually. It would benefit all aspiring pilots, including women.