India is set to get eight new Flying Training Academies. According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, these institutions will be established 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 set-up of these eight FTOs is aimed at making India a global flying training hub and to prevent the exodus of Indian cadets to foreign FTOs," it said.
Besides, these FTOs will also be designed to cater the flying training requirements of cadets in India’s neighbouring countries. “Attesting to the perseverance and determination of the team of the 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 Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative," the ministry said.
As per the ministry, AAI had invited bids for the establishment of FTOs in November 2020. “The award letters were issued on May 31, 2021 to winning bidders: Asia-Pacific, Jetserve, Redbird, Samvardhane and Skynex."
The ministry also said that to make FTOs attractive for bidders, the 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.