AI working on improving pilot efficiency


State-owned Air India is putting in place a system of mandatory rostering to improve the efficiency of its pilots, nearly a fourth of whom, in an internal audit, have been found working for less than 40 hours a month, as against 80 hours stipulated by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) under flight duty time limitations (FDTL) norms.
Air India has over 1,500 pilots. In an internal audit, 25-30% of them have been found working less than 40 hours a month. Due to implementation of FDTL (flight duty time limitation) norms and better monitoring, the average number of work hours among pilots has improved to 63 hours from 57 hours over the last few months. DGCA mandates pilots can fly a maximum of 100 hours a month and a total of 1,000 hours a year. Now, Air India is working at increasing average monthly work hours of pilots to 75-80 hours, in line with private carriers.
A senior official with the airline told Business Standard: “We have added 11 aircraft and two new sectors to Birmingham and Australia this year. There is a substantial number of pilots who are working less than 30-40 hours a month. We are implementing the FDTL guidelines as outlined by the DGCA and are putting in place a system of mandatory rostering to enhance employee efficiency.”
Air India has 1,543 pilots flying largely three families of aircraft — Airbus A320s, Boeing 777s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline has around 650 pilots flying A320s, which are used for domestic and short-haul international flights and over 400 pilots for the long-haul Boeing 777s.
The airline has also readied a new salary structure for pilots aimed at improving efficiency. Under the new norms, the flying allowance paid to pilots will not be fixed but will depend on the number of hours a pilot flies. As of now, flying allowance of pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India are fixed at 72 and 80 hours, respectively. The pilots get paid 1.25 times till a certain slab and 1.5 times beyond that if they fly more than their given hours.
Read the full report here, Business Standard


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