These training academies will be designed to cater to the flying training requirements of cadets in neighbouring countries also

With an aim to make India a global flying training hub, the country is all set to get eight new flying training academies under the liberalised Flying Training Organisation (FTO) policy of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

These academies will be set up at Belagavi, Jalgaon, Kalaburagi, Khajuraho and Lilabari, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement on Wednesday. Upon development of these flying training academies, the exodus of Indian cadets to foreign FTOs will stop.

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

Attesting to the perseverance and determination of the team of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the fact that they successfully managed to finalise the bidding process amid the challenging period caused due to the second wave of COVID-19.

These five airports have been carefully chosen since they have minimal disruption due to weather issues and civil/ military air traffic. This initiative will help the Indian flying training sector in becoming more self-sustaining under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative.

In November 2020, Airports Authority of India had invited bids for the development of these flying academies. On May 31, 2021, the award letters were issued to winning bidders: Asia-Pacific, Jetserve, Redbird, Samvardhane and Skynex.

The parameters set for prospective bidders included familiarisation with aviation safety aspects, regulatory mechanisms, experience in the field of training pilots on manned aircraft, the availability of equipment, trainers, etc.

To make FTOs attractive for bidders, AAI reduced the minimum annual rental significantly to Rs.15 lacs. Furthermore, the concept of airport royalty was scrapped to make these ventures business-friendly.