Fake pilot license scam: Senior DGCA official sacked

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Aviation regulator DGCA, which has come under the scanner over the fake pilot licenses issue, has stripped one of its top officials off his responsibilities following charges against him of influencing an airline to employ his daughter, who had failed pilot test.

R.S. Passi, director, air safety, has been taken off his responsibilities, highly-placed directorate general of civil aviation sources said here.

The sources said that Passi has neither been sacked nor suspended.

"He is no longer dealing with air safety matters. Passi has been removed from his position in the air safety directorate," the sources said.

During investigation into fake licence cases, it was found that Passi's daughter Garima had not cleared a flight test in the US, but was working in an Indian carrier as the pilot. Garima had quit the airline in March.

After going through the documents of over 4,000 licences, the DGCA has lodged 13 first information reports with Delhi police's crime branch.

While six of them relate to Airline Transport Pilots Licenses (ATPLs), seven Firs concern records of Commercial Pilot Licences (CPLs).

There are about 4,000 ATPLs, while about 10,000 CPLs have been issued till date.

Three DGCA teams are currently auditing at least 40 flying schools across the country and the government has already warned that those institutes found fudging records to grant pilots' licences could be closed down immediately.

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