New Delhi: The maiden course for grooming 'commercial pilots' in India itself for operating helicopters will commence in January, next year.
The government helicopter service provider company Pawanhans Limited and aircraft manufacturing company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) are jointly starting this study programme in the country.
President of Pawanhans and managing director BP Sharma told UNI the first curriculum will start in January, next year.
'The course apart from covering classroom teaching will also give behavioural training to pilots at Delhi's Rohini Heliport which is also country's sole heliport. They will be simultaneously trained in helicopter technolgical techniques at Bangalore situated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited,' he said.
'Pawanhans is fully dependent on retired army pilots for its 'pilot needs', he stated. 'Apart from the retired pilots from the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pawanhans fulfills some of its needs of having pilots from the coast guard also. The private enterprises admit foreign trained pilots also along with superannuated Army pilots to run their helicopters,' Mr Sharma noted.
'This is the first time that an extensive course to ready commercial pilots for helicopters is being introduced in the country. Currently, there are combined 280 helicopters of Pawanhans and private players in the country,' he remarked.
Mr Sharma told UNI the first batch will have twenty seats and 120 applications have been received for the course.
He also said that the programme is in much demand among the aspirants. 'Also, the number of helicopters will speedily rise in the country with rolling out of Regional Connectivity Plan "Udaan". As this happens, there would be requirement of helicopter pilots,' said Mr Sharma.
The Pawanhans President said the number of seats in the course would be augmented in future.
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