The government on Monday said it plans to hire 400 more air traffic control officers to meet the growing manpower needs for air traffic management, at a time when the country is witnessing a double digit passenger growth.
Emphasising that "air safety is paramount," Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said 400 more Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) would be hired. "In last 2 yrs, our Govt recruited 800 ATC personnel & 400 more in pipeline at AAI," Raju said in a tweet. According to him, this would also be the first major recruitment of ATCOs since 2012. "This has addressed significant security concerns raised by ICAO in 2012," he added. The domestic aviation sector has been witnessing over 20 per cent passenger growth in the last many months as well as more number of flights are criss-crossing the Indian skies.
In March, the government had said the AAI board has approved creation of additional posts of ATCOs in various grades in order to cope up with the growing requirement of air space and air traffic management.
Out of total sanctioned strength of 3,890 ATCOs, the existing strength stands at around 3,000. A study, done sometime back, by the US-based Washington Consultancy Group for AAI had estimated that there would a requirement of 3,599 more ATCOs up to the year 2020.