8 new flying training academies to be set up in 5 airports: Govt

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New Delhi, Jun 2 (PTI) Eight new flying training academies will be set up in five airports with an aim to make India a global pilot training hub, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Wednesday.

The five airports -- Belagavi and Kalaburagi in Karnataka, Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh and Lilabari in Assam -- have been carefully chosen since they have minimal disruption due to weather issues and civil or military air traffic, it stated.

The establishment of these eight academies is aimed at making India a global flying training hub and to prevent the exodus of Indian cadets to foreign academies, it stated.

Additionally, these academies will also be designed to cater to the flying training requirements of cadets in India's neighbouring countries, it mentioned.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which works under the ministry, had invited bids to set up these eight academies in November last year.

'The award letters were issued on 31 May 2021 to winning bidders: Asia-Pacific, Jetserve, Redbird, Samvardhane and Skynex,' the ministry said in a statement.

The parameters on which the bids were called by the AAI for these academies included familiarisation with aviation safety aspects, regulatory mechanisms, experience in the field of training pilots on manned aircraft and the availability of equipment and trainers.

'To make FTOs (flying training organisations) attractive for bidders, AAI reduced the minimum annual rental significantly to Rs 15 lakh. Furthermore, the concept of airport royalty was scrapped to make these ventures business-friendly,' the ministry said. PTI DSP SMN SMN

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