The launch of the regional connectivity scheme that aims to link smaller cities by air a few years ago has sparked a plethora of activities in the aviation sector. Indian carriers will require a large number of pilots in the next few years to meet the growth. But despite the surge in demand, there seems to be inadequate infrastructure to train young aspirants. Acute shortage of manpower is coming in the way of expanding fleet.
At present, airlines manage the gap in crew by hiring foreign pilots at great cost. But aviation can develop only with a strong foundation. And the many unused and lesser-used airfields of south India can play a key role in training pilots. There are several abandoned airfields in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra that were setup by the British. The better ones among them can be identified and made into training fields. For instance, the Ulundurpet airfield near Trichy which belongs to the Tamil Nadu government is an ideal site. Being free of other air traffic, these airfields can offer uninterrupted training. Read more