Press Release l AAI issued award letters for nine FTOs to be established at five airports

  • IGRUA completed 19,019 flying hours in 2021 which is 25% higher than 2019
  • 4100 patients hired air ambulances during the last three years

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

The Government has taken several steps to meet the demand of pilots in the country. These include the following:

(i) 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.

(ii) AAI issued award letters on 31 May 2021 and 29 October 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).

(iii) DGCA has 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.

(iv) 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.

(v) India's largest flying academy - Indira Gandhi RashtriyaUranAkademi (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%.

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.

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen. (Dr) V. K.Singh (Retd) in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.