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India to have first copter pilot training centre

Thirty training aircraft are being inducted in the Institute

NAGPUR (PTI): Country's first helicopter pilot training centre will be operational by December at the Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation Institute in Gondia, Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Thursday.

“The helicopter pilot training facility is part of the Institute's ambitious project to impart training to pilots,” Patel said. He said under the Rs 400 crore project, the Institute was already imparting theory training to trainee aircraft pilots and the actual flying would commence from December this year.

The project is a joint venture of CAE Canada along with Air India, Airports Authority of India and Pawan Hans. Thirty training aircraft are being inducted in the Institute and it will be fully operational soon, Patel said.

All basic facilities, infrastructure, night landing facilities and ATC are ready at Gondia's Birsi airstrip. The Institute is adjacent to the airstrip.

Patel said as part of UPA government's policy of promoting and developing smaller
airports and connectivity, Mumbai will be connected with Nanded, Latur, Nashik and Solapur. Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Chief Minister

Vilasrao Deshmukh will launch the inauguration of Mumbai-Nanded flight on Saturday, he said. However, flights to Akola will commence in December, he said.

Of the proposed Air India cargo hub in Nagpur, Patel said it would start functioning by this year-end and transfer of Nagpur Airport from AAI to Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation, which will develop the hub, will be done in a month, Patel added.

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