Karad, the hometown of former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, could soon have a flying school. The Congress leader is helping the aviation entrepreneur, Ambitions Flying Club, in setting up the flying school. Some days ago, Parvez Damania of the erstwhile Damania Airways and Bombay Flying Club president Captain Mihir Bhagvati went to Karad with two Cessnas to try out the place.
Karad in Satara district had a small airstrip, and during Chavan’s stint as chief minister (November 2010 –September 2014), the airport was spruced up and improved.
The government had plans to extend the runway for ATRs and A320 or B 737, but the plans had to be dropped as it involved land acquisition, cutting of hills and shifting of electricity poles.Two weeks ago, Damania and officers of Ambitions Flying Club, which has a licence to operate in Aligarh, visited Karad to discuss modalities of the project. Damania said, “This school has a licence to operate. They can shift totally to Karad.’’
Damania said that they pay just Rs 60,000 per month in Aligarh and have been asked to pay Rs 3 lakh per month by Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), which owns the Karad airport. “Besides, they have to construct classrooms, an air traffic control tower, office and hostel and other things. We have requested the MADC to reduce the rates for the lease as Reliance Airport Developers Limited that owns Nanded, Latur, Baramati, Yavatmal and Osmanabad charge just Rs 1 lakh per month,” said Damania.
14/03/21 Yogesh Naik/Mumbai Mirror