India's airlines have grown at a pace too rapid for them to train and hire Indian pilots. Therefore, they have for years hired foreign or "expat" pilots. The civil aviation authority, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, has recently granted their domestic airlines approval to continue to hire foreign pilots until at least 2013, as airlines prepare to induct 240 new planes in three years to meet the demand of increased travel among Indian citizens.
Previously, the Indian government has granted only yearly extensions on hiring foreign pilots; however, they have now granted a three-year extension as the airlines become better at training and hiring within India. Domestic Indian airlines, via the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) had requested the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grant a five year window to hire foregin pilots and keep the current oens on their payroll.