Silchar, Dec. 13: Mizoram chief minister Lalthanhawla today dedicated a Rs 6-crore, two-seater Microlite training aircraft for NCC cadets at the state’s lone airport in Lengpui, 38km from Aizawl.
Lalthanhawla said this tiny training aircraft, which will belong to the First Mizo Squadron of the NCC, would ignite the zeal and passion for flying among Mizo boys and girls who have carved out a niche for themselves for being intrepid.
This first Mizo Air Squadron of the NCC (air wing) was raised in Aizawl on May 23 last year, according to NCC sources.
Sources hoped that this NCC unit would be able to successfully groom potential pilots among Mizo youths and at the same time instil in them patriotic sentiments and aspirations to help them join the Indian Air Force. The low-weight Microlite aircraft of the IAF which flew to the Lengpui aerodrome from Guwahati early last week, is 20 feet long. It weighs 436kg and is 11 feet tall. Its optimum speed is 85 miles an hour. Sources added that according to the IAF, the recruitment drive for this air squadron is strictly limited only to the students of science stream of higher secondary course.
The Lengpui airport in Mizoram is equipped with very high frequency omnidirectional range to help the pilots during landing and take-off.
The airport was built by the Mizoram government in 1994 at a cost of Rs 140 crore. Its runway length is 8,200 feet and it has an instrumental landing system (ILS) which was commissioned 10 years ago to help the pilots to land and take off during poor visibility, fog and heavy showers.