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Career Opportunities in Civil Aviation

The implementation of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG) started in India during 1991 and civil aviation was one of the sectors that were promoted through LPG. During the next few years, India witnessed a rapid growth in the civil aviation sector and this growth continued resulting in a wide range of career opportunities for students from various disciplines, either with or without prior work experience. Across the world, a career in civil aviation has been associated with glamour, high pay and global experience. In general Civil Aviation comprises of two categories namely Scheduled Air Transport and General Aviation. Scheduled Air Transport covers all passenger and cargo flights on scheduled routes. General Aviation covers all other flight civil or commercial. However, from a career perspective, a broader categorization of civil aviation is as follows:

S.No. Category in Aviation Partial list of Careers
1. Airline


Pilots, Cabin Crew
2. Airport


Managers, Air Traffic Controller, Planners,
3. Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Engineers, Managers, Logistics specialists
4. Aviation Management Managers, Consultants, Researchers, Advisors
5. Aviation Technology Aeronautical Engineers, R& D Executives, I.T. Specialists
6. Aerospace Medicine Doctors, Nutritionists, Dieticians, Medical Diagnostics Specialists
7. Aviation Regulation Aviation Regulators
8. Aviation Fuel Oil Technologist, Logistics Specialists,
9. Aviation Insurance Insurance Managers, Insurance Agents and Sales Executives,
10. Aviation Law Lawyers and Corporate Advisors
11. Aviation Media Editors, Journalists, Analysts, Technical Writers, Public.Relations Specialist


While there are many requirements for success in a civil aviation career the following are critical:

  1. Patience
  2. Empathy
  3. Learning Orientation
  4. High Energy
  5. Ability to withstand stress
  6. Dedication

Like any other sector, in civil aviation there are at least two approaches for building a career in civil aviation. The first approach involves gaining an industry specific education and applying for a suitable position in an aviation company. The second approach is to start a business of your own.  Unfortunately, civil aviation (especially airline, airport and MRO) offer less opportunities in entrepreneurship compared to many other sectors. Civil Aviation is associated with three deterrents namely high capital requirement, high regulation, and high uncertainty. These three non controllable factors make it extremely difficult to start and grow new businesses in civil aviation. Added to this the profit margins are very low in the airline industry. The airline industry is notorious for its failures both in the Indian and global context. However, highly experienced individuals who can build well balanced teams stand a high chance of success compared to others, especially individual operators. Interestingly, civil aviation offers small business opportunities in a few fields including fixed based operator, aviation advertising, and travel agencies and consulting. Last but not the least, it is a real testing ground for people who believe about their entrepreneurial competence.

About Sharad Raghuvansh

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