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Love to fly? Know everything about the aviation industry

Posted on Monday, July 29, 2019

The industry including airlines, airports, and ground handling would together employ almost four million skilled personnel by 2035, writes Sheetal Banchariya

The Indian aviation sector has been witnessing remarkable growth in recent years. India plans to construct over 100 new airports by 2035 and almost 20 cities are expected to have a second airport in the next 15 years, which will require more people to be deployed for smooth functioning.

“The general notion about this industry is that it is limited to being a pilot, but from security check to baggage deposition to in-flight services, the industry offers a varied palette of jobs to choose from,” says Nalin Kumar Tandon AVSM, VM (Retd.), director, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi.
 
Career options
 
While airline operations is the core of the aviation industry, several other verticals such as airport operations, air cargo and ground handling contribute enormously to the workforce. “Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) is an emerging vertical and with the massive growth projections in fleet size, strategic location, pool of engineering expertise and lower labour costs, India has the potential to become a leading MRO hub in the South Asian region,” says Amit Pathak, general manager, Pratt & Whitney, India. Ground handling and security, engineering design and development, and manufacturing are some of the other options for the students to explore.
 
Education
 
“Institutes such as IITs, MIT Chennai and several other state universities offer 4-year bachelor’s and 2-year master’s level programs in Aeronautical or Aerospace Engineering. Those who are interested in a career in aircraft maintenance could go for an Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) diploma course followed by a set of examinations and on-job trainings to obtain their license,” says Pathak.
 
Students interested in flying could get trained for a commercial pilot’s license with one of the flying schools and log the required flying experience. Apart from Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy (IGRUA) and National Flying Training Institute Gondia, there are several other Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved flying schools across the country. MBA and BBA programmes in Aviation Management are also catching pace.
 
Demand-Supply gap
 
Based on a skill gap study conducted by Ministry of Civil Aviation with iMACS, it was estimated that by 2035, the Indian civil aviation sector including airlines, airports, MROs and ground handling would jointly employ almost 1 million personnel directly and around 3 million people indirectly. Tandon, who is also the vice chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University, says that the gap is large because students are fascinated with being a pilot and unaware of other job roles. On the other hand, Pathak calls for strengthening of existing institutions, building additional training infrastructure as well as strict monitoring to ensure the quality of trainings and skill development to meet requirements.
 

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