The number of Commercial Pilot Licences (CPLs) issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) jumped 39 per cent year-on-year to 1,622 in 2023, with women's share going up 22.5 per cent, an official release said on Monday.
The DGCA had issued 1,165 CPLs during the year ended December 31, 2022, as per the release.
It also said the number of CPLs issued in 2023 was the highest in a decade.
"The record issue of 1,622 CPLs for 2023 has surpassed the previous milestone of 1,165 licences issued in 2022, witnessing a 39.22 increase," the statement said.
This is the second consecutive year where the number of licences issued has witnessed a decade-high, the DGCA release said.
Besides, of the 1,622 CPLs during 2023, as much as 18.12 per cent were issued to women pilots, the release said, adding, "India is considered to be one of the leading nations with women pilot licences."
The significant percentage increase upholds the government's vision of women empowerment in the civil aviation sector, it stated.
An estimated 14 per cent of the workforce employed with scheduled airlines consists of women pilots, as per the release.
The issuance of 1,622 CPLs in a year comes at a time when the country's civil aviation sector is recovering at a fast pace after the coronavirus pandemic, and several major operators like Air India and IndiGo have announced placing huge orders for aircraft, the release said.
Additionally, to cater to the long time demand of small business and helicopter operators, the regulator has granted approval for a new helicopter flying training organisation to enable aspirants to undertake training and acquire commercial licences for helicopters, it said.
With this, it is expected that the helicopter industry -- largely engaged in regional connectivity services (RCS), pilgrimage, air-ambulance, among others -- will shore up in terms of crew strength by receiving an additional pool other than ex-military pilots, the statement added.