India requires estimated 1,000 pilots annually to meet its traffic growth, as the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted air travel and reduced manpower requirement. Indian pilot training institutes face several challenges, such as sub-optimal fleet size, high rent, old fleet, a lack of adequate number of trainers, weather-related issues, etc.
New pilot training schools will come up at the Airports Authority of India (AAI)-run airports at Belagavi, Jalgaon, Kalaburagi, Khajurao, and Lilabari. The award letters to training schools were issued on May 31. The minimum annual rent reduced to Rs 15 lakh and royalty payable to AAI scrapped to make the schools viable.
The induction of additional trainer aircraft is in process at IGRUA, government-run pilot training school in Uttar Pradesh. IGRUA is also exploring locations with low air traffic to carry out its training activities. Currently, it trains pilots in Gondia in Maharashtra, too. The Rajya Sabha Committee on Transport Tourism and Culture in its recent report has recommended setting up of pilot training institute at one airport in each state and take steps to rise availability of trainers.