Tuesday, October 25, 2016

IGRUA may cut pilot training fee by Rs 5 lakh

New Delhi: The state-run Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Academy may reduce its pilot training fee by Rs 5 lakh to Rs 27.5 lakh plus taxes following a proposed switch to diesel from the costlier aviation gas or AV gas.

A senior government official told ET that the civil aviation ministry plans to approach the finance ministry with the proposal.

The move comes about a year and a half after Congress President Sonia Gandhi raised the issue. ET had in May last year first reported that Gandhi had on April 1, 2015 written a letter to the government in which she had also sought waiver of 20% tax charged by the state on AV gas, which is used by all training aircraft at the academy located in her Lok Sabha constituency Rae Bareli.
The foundation stone of the institute was laid in 1985 by Gandhi’s husband and then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, himself a pilot. The cost of changing the fleet type to diesel of 24 aircraft operated by IGRUA will cost the government less than Rs 50 crore, said the official, who did not wish to be identified.

Among other issues, Gandhi in her letter sought improvement in the academy’s placement record. The academy produces about 150 trained pilots every year, only about a third of which get placed in various airlines, a proportion which is seeing gradual improvement. Officials at IGRUA told ET that the government should also focus on improving the conditions at the academy.
25/10/16 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times