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Over 500 posts of Air Traffic Controllers currently vacant

New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) In a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Thursday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that more than 500 posts of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) are currently vacant in the country.

The Ministry said in its reply: “As on January 31, 2023, the sanctioned strength of Air Traffic Controllers in Airports Authority of India (AAI) is 4,211 against which 3,692 ATCOs are in place.”

As per Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), additional number of ATCOs required by AAI is 381 with cumulative additional requirement of 1,392 and 1,697 on December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2024, respectively, it added.

The AAI has three training institutes — Civil Aviation Training College (CATC) in Prayagraj; Hyderabad Training Centre (HTC); and the National Institute of Aviation Training And Management (NIATAM), Gondia.

The existing combined capacity of the above training institutes is 575 for freshers/new recruits which is sufficient to cater to requirements of AAI.

Hence, no proposal for opening a new institute for the purpose is in the pipeline, said the Ministry.

It further informed that in the year 2019, 3,049 CISF posts were abolished at 61 airports leaving it with a strength of 27,218.

Subsequently the CISF strength has been augmented to 36,122 at 66 airports, which is almost 33 per cent more of the remaining strength of force in the year 2019.

The recruitment of sufficient manpower/ATCOs for smooth functioning of air traffic management is a continuous process, which is undertaken by the AAI based on the requirement of various airports.

The vacant posts of ATCOs are filled through direct recruitment as well as internally through departmental examination.

Against 264 posts of ATCOs advertised in the year 2020, 190 candidates have already joined and offers of appointment have been issued to 68 others available in the panel.

For the 400 posts advertised in 2022, the recruitment process has been completed and qualified candidates have been asked to report at original place of posting.

Apart from this, 54 internal candidates selected through departmental examination are currently undergoing training or have joined.

The AAI had also initiated steps for filling up another 356 posts of ATCOs through direct recruitment on December 9, 2022.

Further, to cope with the increasing demand, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has initiated the process of creation of 456 more posts of ATCOs in AAI at different levels.