Around 40 per cent commercial pilot licenses issued by Indian aviation regulator DGCA were to cadets trained in foreign flying schools, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh said on Monday.
However, the Centre has taken certain steps to achieve increasing the number of Indian-trained pilots, Singh told Rajya Sabha. The minister, in a written reply, said the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had on September 25 last year come up with a liberalised flying training organisations (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.
He said the AAI issued award letters on May 31 and October 29 for nine FTOs to be established at five airports in Belagavi (Karnataka), Jalgaon (Maharashtra), Kalaburagi (Karnataka), Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh) and Lilabari (Assam). Soft launch of two FTOs at Kalabuargi was done on August 15 under the liberalised policy, Singh said."India's largest flying academy — Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan 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 visibility issues," the minister said.