Friday, July 26, 2013

Bid to make Assam Flying Club operational: India

GUWAHATI: In a bid to boost the aviation industry in the NE region, Assam Flying Club Revival Committee will pressure the government to make the Assam Flying Club operational at the earliest.

The Cessna 152 and Pushpak MK-1 trainer aircraft, available at the club located in at LGBI Airport here, are lying unused for over 10 years now. Set up in 1958, the club enjoyed the distinction of being the lone flying club of the NE region to issue private and commercial license to pilots, but it started facing hurdles in the early nineties.

Now the committee, under the leadership of Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority chairman Robin Bordoloi, has urged the state government to take urgent measures to make the club functional.

"We want development of the aviation industry in Assam and the northeast. Across the world, this industry is considered to be lucrative, but unfortunately due to lack of scope, aspiring flyers from NE have not been able to get flying training in the region. So, we want the government to take necessary steps to make the flying club operational once again," said Bikrom Singha Lahkar, general secretary of the committee.

He urged the state government to pay the dues to Airports Authority of India (AAI) as lease amount. "The AAI may not allow execution of the revival plans of the club if the lease amount remains unpaid," he said.

"At present, the space where the club exists is used by Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited and by AAI. The two aircraft are dumped in a corner. Pushpak MK-1 is permanently grounded and de-registered, while the Cessna 152 is temporarily grounded. The Cessna 152 was allotted to this club by Aero Club of India. Now, the Aero Club has re-allotted this aircraft to Bombay Flying Club," added Lahkar.

An official of the club, however, said it has become difficult to resume training program at the airport due to increased air traffic at LGBI Airport.