Aero Club under probe for plane import without DGCA nod
However, even as the ministry investigates the tender process and has asked the club to produce documents related to payments made to the manufacturer of the CTLS aircraft, the DGCA has decided to amend rules to allow the registration and operation of the light sports aircraft.
ACI is the apex body of over 22 flying and gliding clubs and other aerosports organisations under the ministry, and is funded by the central government. It had placed orders for the three planes, each costing Rs 1 crore, in April 2011.
Based on complaints, it was found that the DGCA had first approved the import of the aircraft but subsequently changed its mind and withdrew permission. However, the club went ahead and got the aircraft and made payments.
“It is a matter of great concern that crores of public money was spent on procurement of uncertified trainer aircraft by ACI and that these have so far not been used for training even after two years of its import (sic),” the civil aviation ministry observed at a February 5, 2013 meeting.
S N Dwivedi, the DGCA’s director of airworthiness, said the CTLS aircraft imported by ACI cannot be used for training and
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