HUBALLI: Mumbai-based air training organisation has won a bid to start a Flying Training Organisation (FTO) at Hubballi Airport. Very shortly the tender awardee firm will start groundworks before it begins training courses on flying.
Recently the Airport Authority of India (AAI) published the tender awardees, and Ekvi Air won the tender for starting FTOs at four airports including Hubballi.
Ekvi Air Training Organisation Private Limited is headquartered in Mumbai.
Hubballi Airport is one of the oldest airports in the state and there was a demand to set up FTO to train the youths from this region in the aviation sector. Under the liberalised Flying Training Organisation policy of the Airport Authority of India, few airports were nodded to set up FTO. Hubballi will be the third FTO in the north Karnataka region after Belagavi and Kalaburagi.
To find career opportunities in the aviation sector, especially to become a pilot, interested youngsters used to go to Jakkur Flying Training School near Bengaluru or other metro cities and very few people get selected there. Considering the minimal disruption here in Hubballi concerning issues like weather and civil and military air traffic, AAI approved an FTO here.
Sources said, the tender was called on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, for two firms. For Hubballi, only one company (Ekvi Air) participated in the tender and it won. The AAI may rebid for one more FTO at Hubballi in the coming days.
Hubballi Airport director Pramod Thakre said bidding is being handled by AAI, and they are waiting for final bid details from head office. They have enough land at the airport to give to FTO operation, as per the Directorate General of Civil Aviation requirement, they will be given land to construct buildings to start operation.
Sources said, around 2500 sq m of land would be enough to set up an FTO where they can have a hangar, apron, classes, and an office too. If the FTO brings more crafts to train, more land will be given for their operation. Courses like the commercial pilot, private pilot, aircraft maintenance engineer, and cabin crew/air hostess will be introduced by the FTO.