Archive for August, 2006

Govt, airlines to address pilot shortage

August 30, 2006

As shortage of commercial pilots has started thwarting the expansion plans of the domestic airlines, the government and companies are gearing up to meet the challenge. With the airlines adding more than 300 aircraft over three to five years, the country needs 3500 additional pilots.   

The government is trying to mitigate the shortage by providing additional training slots. Also, airlines are planning their own training houses, backed by the latest technology, including aircraft simulators. 
 
According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), operators in the Asia Pacific and West Asia would require 1,50,000 additional employees and China, India, Asia and the Middle East would be the most seriously affected. 
 
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has estimated that there was a huge gap between requirement of pilots and pilots trained by flying training institutes in the country. 
 
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Shore up Intelligence system

August 30, 2006

Soon after the recent train blasts in Mumbai, the Prime Minister said we needed to improve our Intelligence system. Such remarks are not new and have often been passed by various prime ministers and Presidents of our country ever since terrorism infected India some 20 years back when Zia ul Huq of Pakistan opted for this mode of confrontation with us.

The pedantic definition of terrorism incidentally is, it is the fourth and most intense stage of irregular warfare and is usually resorted to by a country that is unable to win a war with another through regular warfare.

Today, a situation prevails where not only Jammu and Kashmir ~ the initial target of this scourge ~ but also most other states have been suffering from terrorism in one form or another. One of the principal factors that help to thwart terrorism is the competence of a nation’s Intelligence system.

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Air Janata

August 30, 2006

Chartered flights have long suffered the perception of being the exclusive privilege of the rich and famous.

In fact, for years, even regular commercial air travel in India was regarded a ‘luxury’ — until global networking, increasing demand and proliferation of low-cost airlines created a more level playing field.

The democratisation of skies helped commercial carriers break the cost barrier. So why not extend this policy to chartered carriers?

The news that India has now decided to liberalise its tourist chartered flight policy by allowing Indian citizens, too, to fly inbound charters, portends that civil aviation in India is at last coming of age.

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Procedure for carriage of Duty-Free items – Govt Guidelines

August 30, 2006

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Airports to get security upgrade

August 30, 2006

 Despite increased vigilance at Indian airports, frequent fliers vouch that security measures at the crowded Mumbai and Delhi airports hardly match those at other airports across the globe.

However, a great step forward is expected to be taken when security equipment worth Rs 160 crore is installed at the two international airports in the coming months.

According to civil aviation ministry sources, the equipment will be installed in Mumbai and Delhi in a phased manner. Currently, the Mumbai airport has no Explosive Trace Detectors (ETD), though some airlines like Jet Airways have them. ETDs are sensitive to vapours emitted by contrabrand substances and can detect such materials even if they are present in small quantities.

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Panic at JKIA as plane blocks runway

August 30, 2006

There was panic at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Monday night when an aircraft developed mechanical problems and blocked the runway for several hours.

The Air India plane, which was destined for Mumbai was taking off when one of its engines failed, prompting the pilot to apply emergency brakes bursting all its eight tyres.

It had 131 passengers and seven crew members on board and all of them had to use the emergency door when leaving the plane.

Kenya Airports Police Unit CID chief Judy Ndeda says the matter is under investigation by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Aircraft accident Inspectors.

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Air Force military exercise Gagan Shakti in Western Sector next week

August 30, 2006

Indian Air Force (IAF) will carry out the biggest air exercise over Punjab and the Thar desert in Rajasthan from September four to 27 to test its new sensors and weapon systems as also new strategies.

“The exercise Gagan Shakti is aimed at testing IAF’s integration of new sensors and weapon systems and to validate new strategies that have been developed to address contemporary threats,” IAF spokesman Wing Commander Mahesh Upasani said here today.

IAF’s frontline fighter aircraft and mutli-role combat aircraft SU-30MKI, Mirage-2000, deep penetration strike planes Jaguars and recently-acquired IL-78 mid-air refuellers will undertake air-to-air and air-to-ground manoeuvres during the 23-day exercise over the Western and South Western Air Commands.

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Special forces for counter-maoist operations to be setup by 2007

August 30, 2006

A 14,000 personnel strong special anti-maoist combat force would be ready by next year to tackle the ultra-Leftist insurgents in 13 states, according to highly-placed sources.

The force would comprise 9,000 personnel of central para-military and state police forces and 5,000 ex-servicemen trained in fighting terrorism and dealing with improvised explosive devices (IED) and mines.

The special force is currently undergoing training in specialised camps set up by the Army in Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and other places, the sources said.

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Stay away from Jet Airways

August 30, 2006

Ashish Kapoor, CEO of Investshoppe is of the view that one should stay away from Jet Airways.

Kapoor told CNBC-TV18, “One should still stay away from Jet Airways. Their margins are under pressure and there is lot of competition in this industry now. They are losing market share now because there are lot of low cost discounted airlines, which are taking clientele away from Jet. So there is lot of bad news coming here. Sahara dispute also has spoiled the credibility of this management, so lot of negatives. I do not see any reversal in the near future because the industry is getting more and more competitive.”

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No racial profiling of air travellers: India

August 30, 2006

Asserting that India would not carry out any racial profiling of air travellers, the Civil Aviation Ministry said it was implementing a pilot project to receive advance information regarding passengers arriving in the country’s airports from the airlines concerned.

“There will be no racial or any other kind of profiling of passengers,” Civil Aviation Secretary Ajay Prasad said when asked about reports regarding profiling of air travellers.

To a question on Advance Passenger Information System (APIS), he said a pilot project was launched in July with only Air India at the Delhi airport, with the state-owned carrier asked to furnish passenger details in advance to facilitate faster clearance by immigration authorities.

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