New Delhi: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has brought out a liberalised Flying Training Organisation (FTO) policy wherein the concept of airport royalty (revenue share payment by FTOs to AAI) has been abolished and land rentals have been significantly rationalised, Minister of State (MoS) for the Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen Dr VK Singh (Retd) told in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Thursday.
The Minister told that the AAI has issued award letters on May 31, 2021, and October 29, 2021, for nine FTOs to be established at five airports i.e. two at Belagavi (Karnataka), two at Jalgaon (Maharashtra), two at Kalaburagi (Karnataka), two at Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh) and one at Lilabari (Assam).
DGCA has introduced the 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, he added.
DGCA has modified its regulations to empower Flying Instructors with the right to authorise flight operations at FTOs. This was hitherto restricted to the Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) or Deputy CFIs only. The number of Commercial Pilot Licenses (CPL) issued in India to cadets from Indian and foreign Flying Training Organizations (FTOs) in the last three years is as follows:-
Year Indian FTOs Foreign FTOs Total
2019 430 314 744
2020 335 243 578
2021 504 358 862
Eleborating upon the extnding scope of FTOs and to meet the demand for pilots in the country, Singh said that 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 percent.
There are 49 air ambulances (Aeroplane and helicopter) operating under Aero Medical Transportation (AMT) by 19 non-scheduled operators in the country. The state-wise split of air ambulances is as follows: Delhi (39), Gujarat (1), Kerala (2), Maharashtra (5), Odisha(1) and West Bengal (1). Around 4100 patients have hired ambulances during the last three years. The air ambulance services are available in rural areas on a need and availability basis.
(PSU Watch– India's Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Google News. Click here to follow. Also, join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram. You may also follow us on Twitter here and stay updated.)