New Delhi: Hoping to make India a global flying training hub, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has announced setting up eight new academies across five airports — Belagavi and Kalaburagi in Karnataka, Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, and Lilabari in Assam.
Under the Narendra Modi government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat plan, these Flying Training Organisations (FTOs) are being set up to prevent aspiring commercial pilots from having to receive training abroad.
Bids were awarded in May this year to aviation firms Asia-Pacific, Jetserve, Redbird, Samvardhane and Skynex.
“These are Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects where land is leased out to the winning FTOs at throwaway prices for 25 years. The entire year’s rent payable to AAI (Airports Authority of India) is around half the fee of just one cadet,” MoCA Joint Secretary Ambar Dubey told ThePrint.
“The concept of airport royalty or revenue share to AAI has been abolished. There can’t be a bigger statement of intent by the government,” said Dubey.
The Modi government wants to ensure that these academies will be at par with top FTOs from across the world in terms of fleet, infrastructure and instructors.
“The exodus of cadets will be reversed under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan at any cost,” Dubey said, adding that India will take three years to become a flying training hub.
02/07/21 Taran Deol/Print