In a first for the government-run flying training academy IGRUA in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district, private budget carrier IndiGo will recruit pilots for its fleet of Airbus 320 planes. Traditionally, trained pilots from the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA), an autonomous body under the Civil Aviation Ministry established in 1985, get jobs at the state-run Air India or its subsidiaries. Officials at the flying training academy as well as the airline have confirmed the development. “With this campus selection, we complete the first phase of inducting these candidates who will subsequently be assessed based on an extensive evaluation process, which includes psychometric tests, group discussions and one-on-one interviews, respectively,” IndiGo told PTI in a statement.
“Selected candidates will then proceed for type-rating training for Airbus A320 aircraft and will be inducted as Junior First Officers (JFOs) at IndiGo after completing their type-rating (a regulating agency’s certification of an airplane pilot to fly a certain aircraft type),” the airline said. IGRUA Director Air Vice Marshal Nalin Tandon said the country’s biggest private airline coming to the institute for hiring is a good sign. “It’s a very good starting for us. The standing of any (educational) institute is known by the placement it secures for its students,” said Tandon, who took over the reigns of the premier academy last month. Tandon, also the Vice Chancellor of the Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University, said a total of 75 candidates appeared for the initial phase of the recruitment held on its campus at Fursatganj, Amethi yesterday.
IGRUA is the only central government-funded flying training academy in the country. Currently around 200 students are under-training at the institute for commercial pilot’s licence (CPL). “The aviation industry in India is growing at a fast rate and it is important that we train students for the emerging situations,” he said, adding that the institute has a track record of “producing pilots on par with international standards” over the past three decades. Capt Ashim Mittra, Senior Vice President, Flight Operations, IndiGo said India is a “highly underpenetrated” aviation market in the world. “And since we have one of the youngest and highly productive population in the world, it is important that we provide the right platform and opportunities to tap the potential of our home-grown talent,” he said. IndiGo’s arrival at IGRUA breaks a dry spell of nearly three years for the state-run institute, which last had a major recruitment drive from Air India Express in 2015.