Aviation institute remains grounded

July 1, 2016

Thiruvananthapuram: Activities at the State-owned Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology (RGAAT) here have ground to a standstill following the delay in getting the licence renewed from the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and appointment of a chief flying instructor (CFI).

With this, the move to use the aircraft of the academy as air ambulances for speedy transportation of organs harvested from brain-dead persons has also failed to take off.

Over a dozen students who had remitted Rs.21.5 lakh as fee for Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) course and who had completed the ground classes are left in the lurch, unable to take up flying to complete the mandatory 200 hours. In all, there are 30-odd students on the rolls now.

“Many students have left for institutes in Madhya Pradesh and Pune to complete the course and secure the CPL in two years,” said a student.

Of the 14 students who are on the flying roster, six belong to the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe category and they get grant from the government. While the students have to give only Rs.10,000 an hour for flying in the RGAAT, the aviation institutes outside the State charge a hefty amount.

As the academy does not have a CFI and approval from March, the authorities have not invited applications for the 2016 batch.
01/07/16 S. Anil Radhakrishnan/The Hindu

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