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Since 1st March, 1999
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Wings of glory for Hazaribagh

- Civil aviation department to open gliding cradle near town, tourists can enjoy up to 10-minute sorties for Rs 200

If the sky’s your limit, head for Nagwa.

Come March, the civil aviation department plans to open a gliding cradle at the aerodrome, 6km from Hazaribagh town, to ensconce the district safely on the world tourism map.

Civil aviation secretary Sajal Chakraborty said the centre would provide training as well as joyrides to enthusiasts from the state, country as well as abroad. While details of the flying course are yet to be drawn up, citizens and tourists can take wings for up to 10 minutes for a paltry Rs 200 from next month.

Speaking to The Telegraph over phone from Delhi, Chakraborty that the 45-acre Nagwa aerodrome would begin training with a fleet of one two-seater sailplane and two two-seater motor gliders.

Aviation bosses have zeroed in on an L-23 Super Blanik, a sailplane of Czech make, German motorglider Stemme S6 and Romanian motor glider IS 28M2. “The gliders will be brought from Ranchi. For now, they will be kept in tents. Once the cradle takes off, we will pump in around Rs 3 crore for permanent hangars,” he promised.

Sources said the aerodrome had recently been cleared of encroachment after a directive on the same was issued by the state administration.

Last week, deputy commissioner Manish Ranjan had sent a proposal to the civil aviation department, saying 12 illegal stone crushing units had been removed and licences of 24 had been cancelled to make way for the gliding cradle. On Monday, Ranjan said the project was on radar and would be inaugurated by Governor Syed Ahmed in the first week of March.

Chakraborty said that once Hazaribagh turned into a full-time gliding centre, trainees would be offered scholarships for motivation. The civil aviation department, he added, had hired Captain Tushar Kulkarni as cradle instructor.

Ranjan said since Nagwa was situated along the busy Ranchi-Patna road (NH-33), they hoped to draw a good number of enthusiasts.

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