The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has liberalised flying training in view of the increasing demand for trained pilots. Permission for establishing nine Flying Training Organisations (FTOs) at five airports has been granted. This includes two FTOs at Jalgaon.
The information was given by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation General (Retd) Dr V K Singh in the Lok Sabha. Besides Jalgaon two FTOs each at Belgavi (Karnataka), Kalaburgi (Karnataka) and Khajuraho (MP) and one at Lilabari (Assam) have been granted permission by AAI.
Moreover, India’s largest flying academy – Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) at Amethi (Uttar Pradesh) – has been permitted to carry out pilot training in Gondia (Maharashtra) and Kalaburagi (Karnataka) to enhance its flying hours and aircraft utilisation, which get severely affected during winter months due to low visibility. IGRUA has commenced operating on all weekends and holidays. “It completed 19,019 flying hours during the year 2021 as compared to 15,137 hours in the pre-Covid year 2019, an increase of over 25%”, the minister told the house.
The concept of airport royalty (revenue share payment by FTOs to AAI) has been abolished and land rentals have been significantly rationalised.
Earlier DGCA had introduced Online-On Demand Examination (OLODE) for the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AME) and Flying Crew (FC) candidates with effect from November 2021. This facility allows candidates to choose the date and time from the available exam slots. To facilitate the process of commercial licensing, DGCA has modified its regulations to empower Flying Instructors with the right to authorize flight operations at FTOs. This was hitherto restricted to the Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) or Deputy CFIs only.