Chennai: Those who have a penchant for a high flying career, quite literally, and love a life of discipline, a course in aviation fits the bill perfectly. After a few years of lull, the industry is back on its feet and is taking off.
With the Udan scheme for regional connectivity adding to the routes, new airlines are ready to step in and established ones are looking at expanding fleets with smaller planes and sea planes as well. The churn hints at a huge demand for manpower at all levels in airlines and at airports.”The government has relaxed norms to make it easier for aviation firms to expand operations. It means that more aircraft will be inducted by aviation companies in the country and more aerodromes developed. So more personnel will be required to make the planes fly and also to man the airports.”
Jobs on offer include pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, cabin crew, flight dispatchers, airport ground staff who will handle ticketing, check in, boarding and other duty. Milton Huggins, deputy director, corporate affairs and training, Hindustan Group, which offers engineering courses at its university and flight training, said: “This is the right time to join a course to become a pilot as going by the orders placed by airlines to expand their fleet and routes, there will be a need for 50,000 pilots by 2020. IndiGo and SpiceJet will bring in around 1,000 planes and each can fly six routes a day. This means six to 12 pilots per plane including captains. That is a huge opportunity coming up.” The key, however, lies in choosing the right sector depending on one’s aptitude. “Students need to be counselled properly to take up the right kind of job. A ground staff can rise to a top management position with 10 to 20 years of service. For pilot training, students should look for a school that offers personal attention.”
And it’s not just those inside the cockpit who have a headway. Trainers too will be in high demand. “Those who have completed their commercial pilot licence can work as flying instructors and get the same kind of money sans the stress associated with working with an airline.” The avenues on the ground too are opening up with airlines needing maintenance engineers. Each plane requires nearly 60 people to tend to including those in the ramp area and fuelling.
After pilots, aircraft engineers are the most sought after in aviation. A B Tech course or a diploma in aircraft maintenance engineering apart, a student has to pass a DGCA exam to get a licence. They are hired as technicians assisting in maintaining and overhauling planes and get a higher pay when they get a license and more experience.
To enhance human resource development to support the tremendous growth of India’s aviation segment, International Air Transport Agency (IATA) and Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University (RGNAU) signed a memorandum of understanding in March. The agencies will develop closer links on academic cooperation, such as the possibility of including IATA training programmes and modules within RGNAU’s course.
“Besides infrastructure capacity, having necessary personnel will be critical if India is to achieve its aviation potential and that why our partnership with RGNAU will help,” said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s regional vice-president, Asia-Pacific.