Yet another attempt is being made at restarting the operations at GFTS (Government Flying Training School –Jakkur – VOJK-, Bangalore). There have been positive changes: The vacant post of a Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) has been filled up, and an Assistant Flight Instructor (AFI) is employed by the school. GFTS also got a 1981-produced Cessna 172, and along with two mid 1980’s Cessna 152s, has a decent operational fleet size of 3 airplanes. Multi-engine airplanes are planned to be inducted into the fleet.
On the 7th of May, 2013, the flight school witnessed a low-key religious ceremony, marking the revival of flight operations at the field. The flight school has started offering “Joy Rides on Aeroplanes” for a nominal fee. This follows the “joy rides” offered to the public at Mysore, in the October of last year, during Mysore’s peak tourist season: Dusshera.
The school will also train students towards a PPL, and a CPL. The published rates for the Cessna 152 is INR 10,000/hr, and for the Cessna 172 is INR 11,500/hr. The rates are very steep, considering the age (1980s) and equipment (analog cockpit) on board the airplane. At a reputed private flying school, the rate for a new Cessna 172 with a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit is INR 12,500/hr: a lot more value for your money.
In the March of 2011, GFTS had advertised the re-opening of the flight school after 9 long years. That never happened. This time, the school seems to be a lot more serious, but only time will tell if the school really takes to the skies again, and goes beyond joy rides, in doing what it was established for: Flying Training.
And if it does, which is hoped, it will be after 11 long years. The official website may be visited by clicking HERE. The application form, published on 20th May 2013, may be viewed HERE. The school is looking for a Chief Ground Instructor.