Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, a trained pilot, says he occasionally takes to the cockpit of airplanes to retain his flying licence.
Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, a trained pilot, says he occasionally takes to the cockpit of airplanes to retain his flying licence. Rudy, prior to becoming a minister in the Narendra Modi government, was hired as a co-pilot by Delhi-based private carrier IndiGo Airlines on a honorary basis, and has on a few occasions co-piloted and even landed planes. Asked if he was still flying despite being a serving minister, Rudy, a trained pilot on the Airbus A 320 aircraft, said people fail to understand the aspect that flying was not like a degree, and the licence needs to be kept valid by logging in a certain number of flying hours.
“I just make an effort for keeping my licence alive, I do fly occasionally for my endorsements and my licence. I wear a uniform and do fly, so it should not come as a surprise to you,” Rudy, the Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister, said while addressing the media here. “I fly to retain my licence because being a minister does not enable me to retain my licence,” he explained.
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Rudy, who has earlier also served as the Civil Aviation Minister, elaborated that the position at which he was flying before becoming a minister requires 8-10 years of training by an individual and spending about half a crore rupees, saying he has chosen to retain his licence. “So option was whether I abandon that licence for good or I retain it. So, I have made an effort to retain it for the purpose of licensing in which apart from clearing written and vocational exams, health tests etc, I also have to get into the cockpit and log my hours,” he said.