Two more airline pilots with fake certificates have been arrested in a growing investigation of corruption in awarding aviation licenses, an official said Tuesday.
The two working for budget airline SpiceJet were arrested Monday in the western city of Jaipur for obtaining commercial pilot licenses by submitting forged flying certificates, said Umesh Mishra, an anti-corruption official.
Last week Indian aviation authorities ordered officials to check the documents of all Indian and foreign airline pilots working in the country after at least four were found to be flying using fake documents.
Two of the four pilots were arrested last week for using fake certificates to gain licenses, while the two others have been suspended and, along with some aviation officials, are still being investigated.
Aviation authorities also plan to examine the training and licensing procedures of all flying schools in the country, said Bharat Bhushan, director general of civil aviation.
Authorities were also concerned about students who go abroad to train as pilots and return with fake or invalid licenses, Bhushan said Tuesday.
Another issue is whether flying schools were sticking to the rules laid down by aviation regulatory authorities and were logging genuine flying hours in the log books of students, he said.
Concerns have been raised in parliament in recent weeks about inexperienced or underqualified pilots flying aircraft and endangering the lives of thousands of travelers. Opposition lawmakers have accused the government of failing to check corruption in the process of granting pilot licenses.
In the last decade, air travel has boomed in India on the back of a growing economy, leading to the rise of a slew of private airlines. This has resulted in a shortage of experienced pilots and airlines have been struggling to hire them to meet the demand.