Guwahati, March 14: A parliamentary panel has expressed its displeasure over dropping of a project on pilot training institute at Lilabari in Dibrugarh district after a long delay.
This was stated by the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on home affairs in its report placed in Parliament this month.
“Despite our recommendation earlier for setting up of a pilot training institute at Lilabari, the project has been dropped after a long delay. It is extremely unfortunate that the proposal has been dropped without giving substantial reasons. Now, setting up a composite training facility for ground-level staff for navigation and aircraft maintenance has been proposed if the Airports Authority of India (AAI) so wishes. The committee is apprehensive that the new proposal may also face the same fate as there is a strong likelihood of it being caught in procedural delays,” the report stated.
The committee has recommended that the civil aviation ministry should draw a plan for setting up the training facility in a time-bound manner so as to avoid inordinate delays.
A meeting regarding setting up of an aviation manpower training institute at Lilabari was held in June 2012, which was chaired by DoNER secretary and participated by representatives from Planning Commission, Airports Authority of India and North Eastern Council.
Initially, the AAI’s endeavour to lease out its land to prospective entrepreneurs to establish a flying training school did not take off because lack of interest from any party.
Subsequently, AAI indicated that its involvement shall be limited to planning and development of infrastructure for the institute provided it was given land, budgetary and infrastructure supportlike water supply, power, road connectivity, security and law by the state government.
The committee in its report said while AAI was forthcoming with preparation of detailed project report, including planning and development of infrastructure required for setting up of the aviation manpower training institute at Lilabari, it had expressed its inability to run the institute and delve into important issues like availability of sufficient number of students/trainees and trained faculty members, proper accreditation and structured courses.
“These issues need to be addressed before a decision is taken to go ahead with construction of the aviation manpower training Institute at Lilabari or any other suitable location,” it said.
“Otherwise, it may result in setting up of such an institute, at an expense of around Rs 76 crore, that may remain under utilised and may not bring the desired impact on the aviation sector in the country, including the Northeast,” it said.
North Eastern Council has approached 77 aircraft maintenance engineering training institutes (approved by DGCA) all over the country to indicate and make available the training courses being imparted by them, training capacity, accreditation, running arrangement and course.
These institutes were further requested to suggest courses that can be taken up to help equip the youths for better employment opportunities and comment on methods to run an institute at Lilabari.