Compared to India, the fees of commercial pilot training courses in places like US, South-east Asia and Australia are much less expensive. This has many aspiring pilots flocking to these countries.
This is, when there are around 37 applications for setting up flying academies pending with the government, for clearance.
The Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uraan Academy (IGRUA), an autonomous flying institute under the central government, charges around Rs 19 lakh for its training course for a commercial pilot licence, a flying institute in the US charges around Rs 16 lakh for the same course. Also the training periods as well as the flying hours you log in are more in US. If the training period in US is six months, it takes around two and a half years in India.
According to norms laid down by the DGCA, one can get your license only after completing 200 hours of flying. When the five months of training takes care of that in the US; in India, after the training period, the trainee has to complete it later.
In South-east Asian countries like Malaysia, flying academies offer courses that take about a year and cost between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 12 lakh. In the Philippines, it comes to around Rs 9-10 lakh, which makes it is one of the cheapest countries in the world for getting a pilot’s licence.
Australia too, offers a range of academies giving training for Rs 16-18 lakh.
Despite a dearth of trained pilots in India, which according to an industry estimate, is around 1000 commercial pilots a year for the next five year at least, a huge per cent of Indian trainees are flocking to the US. This is quite evident from the industry estimates showing that more than 60 per cent of the Indian pilots inducted in the past one year have been from foreign flying institutes.