Flying school halts operations, leaves students in limbo

Flying school halts operations, leaves students in limbo

Two weeks prior to announcing shifting of the historic Government Flying Training School (GFTS) at Jakkur, the State government ordered the school to stop its operations, leaving its 15 students and 30 pilots in lurch.

Sources said the government has planned to shift the GFTS to ensure that revenue to the elevated toll road wouldn’t be affected.

The move has come following a High Court order in connection with a petition seeking to regulate traffic on the elevated road during the landing and take-off of the flights here.

As many as 15 students who joined the course paying a hefty fee (Rs 30 lakh per student), are clueless about their future, according to official sources.

“In addition to this, the aerodrome annually trains 1,800 cadets of National Cadet Corps in flying. The education department funds their course. We do not know when and where the school will be started. We were told to stop operations immediately,” an official source in the department of Youth Services and Sports told Deccan Herald on condition of anonymity.

The State's decision has surprised the authorities at the flying school as the State government had submitted before the High Court that it will come out with a via media solution to save both, the Jakkur aerodrome and the elevated road.

Ironically, a couple of months ago, to improve the GFTS training quality, the State government released a budget of Rs 7.2 crore to purchase two new four-seater Cessna 172 category aircrafts.

The Jakkur aerodrome was given a facelift by constructing a new tower, installing CCTV cameras, adding a new helipad and constructing a new hanger.

Fliers’ fiasco

For the flying school students, it had been a tough time as cost of their course had escalated since the day the elevated toll road became operational.

A student, to complete the course, should do a flying for 250 hours, including one cross country of 300 nautical miles based on availability of aircrafts and the instructors.

The course would require about two to three years to complete.

Since the runway has been reduced to half its size, the students were finding it difficult to complete the course within the given number of hours. 

According to sources, it led to increase in time and hours of training, consequently, escalating the students’ cost of training.

The land

The then Maharaja of Mysore had acquired 250 acres land to start GFTS.

The land was transferred to the State government only on a condition that this should be used only for this purpose.

The area now is surrounded by several high-rises and apartments by several real estate firms.

Several posh localities and layouts here have led to increase in price of land.

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