Citing security, IAF station against academy


Citing security reasons, the Lohegaon-based Indian Air Force (IAF) 2 wing has asked the Air Headquarters not to grant a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Rs 14-crore Pawan Hans Training Institute (PHTI) coming up at Gliding Centre, Pune (GCP). PHHL, a navratna Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), has finished the construction of three helipads on ground zero for the Institute, while the construction of the hangar is currently under way.

As reported by The Indian Express, in January, the IAF station had asked PHHL to get a clearance from the MoD before proceeding.

Replying to a question by The Indian Express, Air Commodore V R Chaudhari, Air Officer Commanding (AOC), 2 Wing, on Wednesday said, "We have recommended (to the Air HQ) not to issue an NOC to the project because of national security. We have both fighter operations and civilian flights going on here. There is no space." It is learnt that the objection was conveyed about two-three months ago.

PHHL has proposed a Helicopter Training Academy at GCP. Under a contract by PHHL, National Building and Construction Company (NBCC) has been appointed as the management consultant for the project. The contract for construction at ground zero has been awarded to one M/s Surendra Infrastructure Pvt Ltd from Kolkata which has been constructing three helipads, two hangars, a parking lot and other such facilities.

A GCP official, on condition of anonymity, said, "Work is still on at GCP. PHHL has finished construction of the helipads and structure of the hangar. But the speed has slowed down relatively. What also seems to be affecting significantly is the changes in the highest office of the DGCA which has now been taken over by Arun Mishra. Interestingly, PHHL has yet not obtained permission from the Pune District Collector for the construction."

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