Nagpur: A day after the Nagpur Flying Club (NFC) restarted operations, preparations have started to admit students for Private Pilot License (PPL) and Commercial Private License (CPL) courses within a couple of months. With current facilities, the British-era club can admit 60 aspirants for both courses.
“We would soon be floating advertisements inviting applications from aspirants to join both courses. The eligibility would be Standard XII passout with physics, chemistry and mathematics (PCM). We would set up an experts’ panel to conduct interviews for selection,” division commissioner Sanjeev Kumar, who’s ex-officio chairman of the prestigious club, told TOI.
He added that being a state government-run institution, the fees would be charged at subsidized rates. “We would be keeping Rs29.5 lakh as fees for each of the courses. The students would be provided top class training in all kinds of flying activities. We’ve tested three aircraft and the fourth one would be tested soon. All these would be available for their training,” Kumar said.
Newly appointed maintenance manager at NFC Pragnesh Sisodia said the administration had appointed new staff for restarting the club after a gap of over three-and-half years. “We now have a staff of 20, which is sufficient for getting approvals from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Once flying activities commence, more members would be added.”
Lauding the commissioner’s efforts, he added the entire team took big efforts to restart the club. “He gave attention to every minor requirement and ensured strict follow up with the authorities like DGCA for certification. Now, we’ve completed 90% of the work to start full-fledged flying activities,” he said.
Advocate Shriniwas Deshpande, an NFC alumnus, who single-handedly fought the PIL for its reopening, hailed the administration’s decision. “I’ve been in touch with Indian Air Force (IAF) officials for restarting the old scheme of providing direct entry to National Cadet Corps (NCC) air wing branch. In the 1960s, NCC cadets like me used to get training at NFC and many of us have become full-time pilots in IAF and airliners. I would be contacting the Maharashtra NCC Battalion in the city so that they take the initiative in this regard. If the central government agrees to it, the NCC cadets would get free training at NFC at government expenses. This way, funding would be assured for the club.”
28/03/21 Vaibhav Ganjapure/Times of India