The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation is implementing steps that will limit the number of foreign pilots working for Indonesian air carriers in an effort to enlarge working opportunities for Indonesian pilots.
The stricter rules come after the recent discovery that some foreign pilots had been misreporting their total number of flying hours in order to obtain captain eligibility in specific aircraft types.
While confirming the forged flight hours had occurred, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation refused to divulge the names of the airlines found to be employing pilots with overstated flight experience.
Traditionally, Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia hire the larget number of foregn pilots.
Indonesian flight rules require 1,000 hours experience in type to qualify as pilot-in-command and 250 hours to serve as a co-pilot.
At present, of the 7,000 commercial pilots licensed to fly in Indonesia, foreign pilots fill only 600 positions.
It still remains unclear how the Ministry plans to make it more difficult to hire foreign pilots, a concern for many Indonesian carriers seeking crew to fly newly acquired airplane and the still low number of new Indonesian pilots graduated from national flight schools each year.
Adding to the shortage of Indonesian pilots are the number of highly qualified Indonesian pilots seeking and obtaining positions on foreign carriers.
According to The Jakarta Globe, Indonesia needs some 1,000 new pilots each year, 7,500 technicians and 1,000 air traffic controllers. Indonesian currently falls short of that requirement, graduating only 400-600 pilots each year.
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