Pilot training: PAC voices concern over use of ageing aircraft | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Pilot training: PAC voices concern over use of ageing aircraft

The Public Accounts Committee today expressed concern over use of "outdated and ageing" aircraft for training IAF pilots and pulled up the defence ministry for taking "no tangible measures" in this regard.

delhi Updated: Mar 30, 2012 20:56 IST

The Public Accounts Committee on Friday expressed concern over use of "outdated and ageing" aircraft for training IAF pilots and pulled up the defence ministry for taking "no tangible measures" in this regard.

The Committee said it is "seriously concerned" that training establishments were imparting training mostly with outdated and ageing aircraft and the IAF has not yet formulated any long-term plan for training of pilots from fighter and other streams.

It said it was also "unhappy" over the issue that the IAF has failed to explore alternative for the defective trainer aircraft and early induction of Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) to achieve its strategic goals.

The report of the PAC on "Training of Pilots in the Indian Air Force" was tabled in the Lok Sabha.

On the shortfall in pilot training, the report said between 2001 and 2006, the number of pilots trained in various streams was much lower than the planned targets.

The IAF had planned to train 220 pilots in various streams from 2001-05 and 110 pilots in 2006 in one course.

The number of pilots trained in various streams during 2001-06 was less than planned targets and shortfall in achieving the training targets varied from 15 to 31 per cent, it said.

The Committee noted that the IAF's training establishments were unable to accommodate the increased load of trainees due to limitations of air space and runway occupancy and other difficulties.

According to the report, the IAF "regrettably failed" to ensure adequate level of intake of pilot trainees through an effective recruitment strategy.

The defence ministry has grounded basic trainer aircraft 'Kiran' after some mishaps two years back.

The IAF plans to acquire 75 Swiss made Pilatus aircraft for basic training of fighter pilots.

The PAC also pulled up the defence ministry for more than a decade-long delay in setting up an ordnance factory in Nalanda.

The Committee has expressed its unhappiness over the fact that only 27% work of the project to produce ammunition for artillery guns has been done.

The work of the factory in Bihar started in 1999 with an envisaged capital outlay of Rs 531.42 crore. It was found that even after a lapse of 11 years, the factory had not been set up, the PAC report said.

In the report, the PAC said it was "astounded" to note that even though the actual date of completing the project was November 2005, only 27 per cent of the actual progress has been achieved as of March 2007.

"Worse, while construction of core technical buildings for the factory and production of plants and machinery were yet to be commenced as of November 2007, ancillary items of work such as construction of residential accommodation, amenity buildings, open air theatres, shopping centres, ordnance club, purchases of jeeps and air conditioners were completed," the report said.