The Airports Authority of India (AAI) stopped operations at the Bombay Flying Club in Juhu on Friday.
The action was taken after a recent probe by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) found that the city’s oldest flying club was among 24 flying institutes in the country posing as non-profit organisations to enjoy consessional land use charges. The probe claimed that the scam collectively resulted in a loss of Rs 190 crore to the exchequer.
AAI officials said the club, founded by industrialist and aviator JRD Tata, was allowed to operate at a nominal lease fee of Rs 1 per annum since it was posing as a non-profit educational institute. Following the CVC report that the club was operating as a commercial institute and making a healthy profit, the AAI asked BFC to pay Rs 2.26 crore in arrears since 2007 if it wants to continue operations.
The move calls into question the future of about 400 students enrolled with the club to learn commercial flying or aircraft engineering. “We are trying to get a court stay against the AAI notice,” said BFC honourary secretary BL Bijlani.