Friday, January 28, 2022

Name airport after JRD Tata, mark Oct 15 as National Aviation Day: Pilot body to PM Modi

New Delhi: As Air India takes to the skies again as a 'Tata enterprise', many are recalling the contributions of the man who heralded civil aviation in the country.

Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata or JRD Tata, was India's first licensed pilot and the founder of India's first commercial airline in 1932 -- Tata Airlines, which became Air India in 1946.

Today, the airline JRD Tata had founded is back in his company's fold and there are those who want to pay tribute to the "father of civil aviation" in India.

The Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP), a body of commercial pilots, has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to declare the anniversary of JRD Tata's first flight as National Aviation Day and the name of the next major airport in honour of India's first commercial aviator.

President of FIP (Rtd) Capt Surinder Mehta writes, "The Late Bharat Ratna Air Vice Marshal JRD Tata is considered the father of civil aviation in India as it was his first flight in October 15, 1932 which heralded the dawn of airmail services in our country. Sir, it would be only appropriate that October 15 be declared as the National Aviation Day of India."

The letter cites the United States of America, which celebrates August 19 as National Aviation Day every year. August 19 is the birthday of Orville Wright, the first person to accomplish powered flight.

28/01/22 Poulomi Saha/India Today

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