As per a report from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, there are plans to set up eight new civil flying training institutions at five civil airports in the country with an aim to make India a global pilot training hub. The five airports selected are at Belagavi and Kalaburagi in Karnataka, Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh and Lilabari in Assam. These airports have been carefully chosen since they have minimal disruption due to weather and civil or military air traffic, the report stated. The establishment of these eight institutions is aimed at preventing the exodus of Indian students wanting to undergo flying training to foreign institutions. Apart from Indian students, these institutions will also be designed to cater to the flying training requirements of students in India’s neighbouring countries. The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which works under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, had invited bids to set up these eight flying training institutions in November last year. The parameters on which the bids were called by the AAI for these institutions included familiarisation with aviation safety aspects, regulatory mechanisms, experience in the field of training pilots on manned aircraft and the availability of equipment and trainers. “To make flying training organisations attractive for bidders, AAI reduced the minimum annual rental to 15 lakh. Furthermore, the concept of airport royalty was scrapped to make these ventures business-friendly,” the Ministry said. The award letters were issued on May 31, 2021 to winning bidders: Asia-Pacific, Jetserve, Redbird, Samvardhane and Skynex,” the Ministry said in a statement.