Thiruvananthapuram: Aviation is a fast growing sector in the country and India is expected to become the third largest aviation market by 2020 and the largest by 2030. Also, major airlines are spreading their wings in the country with seven of them placing a cumulative order for around 1,329 aircraft. An expansion which is being billed as the one of the largest ever in the country in the recent times. Airports too are gearing up to meet an increased traffic. Kerala, which already has three international airports and another one all set to become operational in a few months, is tremendous growth in the aviation sector. Already the feasibility study for two more airports is going on in South and North Kerala.

This growth in the aviation sector has given wings to the dreams of many. The lure of the glamour and lifestyle that the job entails, has many enrolling in the various institutions that offer courses like ticketing, cargo handling and aviation in general. However, these gullible youngsters get taken for a ride by institutions which claim affiliation to hitherto unheard organizations. The students realise their mistake only when they pass out and enter the job market.

Hundreds of institutes have mushroomed across the state to cash in on the youngsters’ dream to build a career in aviation. The growing demand for staff coupled with lack of proper government intervention in the sector is acting as fodder for these fake institution.

There are only around 15 IATA accredited training centers and one IATA accredited training school approved by the DGCA in Kerala, apart from the government-owned Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS) which offers diploma courses in various disciplines. However, today there are hundreds of non-IATA institutes offering courses for students from 10th standard onwards due to shortage of skilled and semi-skilled manpower in aviation industry.

These fake institutes offer courses under BSS certification and lure youths promising them Rs 4 to 5 lakh as salary as cabin crew clubbed with airport management. The students who make a beeline for such courses hail from the middle and lower middle class families. They seek admission in these institution without bothering to cross check their course titles, syllabus, accreditations or certifications, said Biji Eapen, chairman and CEO of the only IATA accredited training school in Kerala, which provides training in various categories of ‘dangerous goods regulation’.
14/08/17 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

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