NORTH LAKHIMPUR: Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, on Tuesday, inaugurated Northeast’s first pilot training academy at the Lilabari airport in Assam.

The union minister inaugurated the pilot training facility at the airport in presence of Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and union minister for law and justice Kiren Rijiju at a ceremony held in the isolated bay of the airport.

Speaking on the occasion, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the Northeast region had been given a connectivity boost and that common people could fly because of UDAN scheme.

He also urged Assam chief minister to lower the state VAT on aviation fuel in the state for a surge in air services to this region.

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Union law and justice minister Kiren Rijiju said that a new chapter in civil aviation for both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh has opened following inauguration of the pilot training academy at Lilabari airport, which is close to Arunachal Pradesh.

He expressed optimism that the pilot training academy at Lilabari airport would enable youths from the entire Northeast to fulfil their aspirations as well as aspirants from neighbouring countries.  

Meanwhile, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the pilot academy at Lilabari was the latest in the series good news for Lakhimpur after the inauguration of Lakhimpur Medical College Hospital.

Sarma also announced that scholarships for aspiring pilots from the economically weaker section of the society would be introduced by Assam government for Lilabari pilot training academy.

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The pilot training academy at Lilabari airport will offer Commercial Pilot License (CPL) training and will be operational from mid-April.

Already two trainee aircraft—Tecnam P2008JC (single-engine) and Tecnam P2006T (multi-engine), arrived at Lilabari on March 22.

The Red Bird Flight Training Academy will conduct the pilot training course at Lilabari in a five miles air distance with low emissions.

The academy will operate under the ministry of civil aviation.

According to Red Bird Flight Training Academy, there is an effort to produce 150 to 200 trainee pilots every year by them.

The academy will have 200 hours of single-engine, multi-engine flying in Lilabari.

Farhana Ahmed

Farhana Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in North Lakhimpur. She can be reached at: farhana.ahmed777@gmail.com