A flight training academy was inaugurated at the Lilabari Airport in Lakhimpur district of Assam on April 12.

The Redbird Flight Training Academy in Lilabari Airport was inaugurated by Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in presence of Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Union minister for law and justice Kiren Rijiju.

This flight training academy at Lilabari Airport is one of the nine flight training organizations (FTOs) started in the first phase under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative.

Speaking on the occasion, chief minister Sarma termed the day as a historic day for Assam. He said that after seven decades of India’s independence for the first time that a flying training organization was built and inaugurated in the Northeast region. “The launch of Redbird Flight Training Academy at Lilabari Airport is a landmark development, which will always remain as a red-letter day in the aviation history of the region,” Sarma said.

He thanked Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and the senior management of Redbird Flight Training Pvt. Ltd and expressed his happiness to the fact that out of almost 100 flying training schools in India, the Redbird Flight Training Academy is the first in Northeast region. He also said that Government of Assam has recently handed over 84 acres of land for the development of basic strip and construction of isolation bay for the purpose.

The chief minister further said that in the past the students and aspiring aviators had no option for flying training within the state. However, now with the inauguration of the academy they can complete their entire training while being close to their homes. “This FTO will provide exposure to the youth towards alternative career options in the vast field of aviation besides flying such as aircraft engineering, flight planning & operations, MBA in aviation management,” he said.

Saying that the new development will prove beneficial for Lilabari Airport, which has strategic importance and is also being used by army and Indian Air Force, Sarma observed that the added infrastructure at the airport will provide logistical support to all the small and medium enterprises and tea estates located around the region and provide connectivity to areas previously inaccessible.

Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, while speaking on the occasion, said that inauguration of the academy will open the doors of progress and prosperity in the Northeast region. He said that his ministry is taking steps for setting up modern heliports at Nagaon and Galeki in Sivasagar district of Assam, besides connecting Guwahati with Hanoi, Bangkok, Dhaka, Kathmandu under UDAN international.

The union minister also said that on training of pilots nearly Rs 500 crore foreign exchange is spent. However, his ministry is working to bring down the amount by establishing new flight training academies in the country.

Union minister Kiren Rijiju and MP Pradan Baruah also spoke on the occasion.

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