By OGIA MIAMEL
TWO Indian pilots are setting up a flying school in Papua New Guinea to train young people wanting to join the profession.
Captains Thanavarrshan Ap and Srikant Chandra are from India and they obtained their commercial flying licences from the Aviation Training International in Philippines in 2010.
Ap returned to India while Chandra stayed back in Manila.
In 2012, Chandra received his flying instructor’s licence from the Visisyas Aerospace College and Technology in Manila.
He was working as flight instructor in a private flight training institution when he came across Papua New Guinea student pilots.
He trained 25 of them.
They told him that because there was no flying school in Papua New Guinea, they had to go to Australia, New Zealand, the United States or Philippines to study.
That prompted Chandra to come to Papua New Guinea to set up a flying school.
He completed the field and feasibility studies and talked to the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority of PNG and Department of Transport.
It took him almost eight months to complete the ground work. Now they a licensed and permitted.
They are now waiting for the arrival of an aeroplane they bought in California, the United States, to be used for the training.
The Cessna aircraft will arrive on August 15.
Chandra said PNG students would not have to go overseas for training.
“It will also be easy for them to get jobs in PNG because they are familiar with the environment,” Chandra said.
“All their flying will happen right here in PNG so it’s quiet easy for them to secure a job here.
“So I came here in early 2016 to conduct feasibility study to find out why there couldn’t be a flying school in PNG.”
The minimum requirement is a student must be at least 18 and has completed Grade 12.
Applications are open to Science and Social Science students and those who have completed tertiary education and are medically fit.
The training school will be based in Port Moresby.
The fee ranges from K73,000 to K150,000. The training period will be for one year for a commercial flying licence.
Training for pilots who have their own planes will take six months.
The first intake of 20 will begin training in January 2018.
By OGIA MIAMEL