Sky Dreams in The Valley

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J&K is getting its first aviation college, which offers courses ranging from commercial pilot license to aircraft maintenance engineering and cabin crew training. Mehmooda Bashir reports.

With the opening of Aviation Management and Training Establishment (AMTE) in Srinagar, the flying dreams of many youngsters can just be realised next door. AMTE offers a host of coveted courses in the aviation sector, be it the pilot training, the engineers, or the air hostess.

At its two-acre campus at Hyderpora Bypass, East, close to the Srinagar airport, the institute will take students from Kashmir and outside as well. Some of the courses offered are Commercial Pilot Licenses (CPL), Basic Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (BAMEL), Certificate of Proficiency Radio Telephony Restricted (CORPTR), Air Traffic Controller (ATC), and Flight Dispatcher.

“All the courses are certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” says Munieb Shaw, director operations, Trans-world Aviation and Management Services (TAMS). AMTE is a subsidiary of TAMS Pvt limited, Delhi, and has been brought to Srinagar by Shaw Brothers, a reputed handicrafts export house diversifying into education.

The institute will have standard syllabus recommended for aviation courses by DGCA. The student will be provided on the job training, for which, Shaw informs, the campus has all the arrangement: Laboratories fitted with the necessary equipment, and latest software like ORACLE, SAS; dedicated libraries for CPL student; CBTM (Computer Based Training Manual) for BAMEL student.

Every class is fitted with a projector, E-library besides voice and accent training for all the students, says Shaw.

A renowned pilot from the Valley, Capt Kapil Raina, who is also the former president of the Indian Commercial Pilots Association is the chief patron of AMTE. Raina told Kashmir Life that the institute is the only one in the country to offer all these aviation courses.

Raina calls aviation a young industry that grows with more and more people flying.

Aviation courses require long hours of teaching, and Shaw says, AMTE has fully air-conditioned classrooms, syndicate room for mastering team skill exercises and hostel facilities besides medical and recreation facilities.

For CPL, a year-long course, students have to undergo four phases of training: Student pilot License (SPL), RTR (A), private pilot license (PPL) and finally CPL, with each having its specified duration of theory and flying training.

“All ground training (theory classes) will be conducted at the Srinagar campus and flying training comprising 40-hour flying experiences for PPL, 200-hour flying experience for CPL, will be conducted outside India,” says Shaw.

For courses, like Diploma in Professional Cabin Crew Training, AMTE plans to have its own aircraft to train students in the real settings. “The deal (aircraft procurement) is in offing,” says Shaw.

The instructors will comprise of fresh and experienced people, “For aviation courses, we are hiring people from outside, as well as using the services of experienced Kashmiris like Capt. Kapil Raina,” says Shaw.

Diversifying into the aviation training sector, in a place fraught with breakdowns, may not have been an easy decision for Shaw Brothers.

“This is an attempt to set Kashmir at par with other educationally forward cities of India like Bangalore,” says Shaw.

The rapid growth of the aviation sector and ample opportunities it promises for the state economy makes Shaw optimistic.

“Our state is tourism driven and the Srinagar airport is going international, that means more flights will be operating, these facts boost the chances of our success in this field,” says Shaw, besides “we have climatic conditions conducive to all sorts of educational activities, we can develop Kashmir into an education hub.”

An aviation course in the home city can make many more youngsters dream of flying. Earlier a student from Kashmir would have to leave his homeland for as simple a course as Aviation management, putting extra pressure on his finances and psyche. “With the opening of the institute the situation will change for better,” says Shaw.

Apart from the training, the institute promises to help students with placement assistance. Shaw says the industry has tremendous employment opportunities, especially, in the Persian Gulf as they prefer Muslim crew. “We will prepare our youth for all these challenges.” he says, “and also help them in placement, this will help to bring down the unemployment graph of the state, which is rising with each passing day.”

Students enrolled in Diploma in Professional Cabin Crew Training can also join hotels.

AMTE will also provide both aviation and regular management courses under one roof, including Aviation Management (AM), Personality Development, Finance Management (FM), International Business, Human Resource Management, Marketing Management, BBA, MBA are among other courses.

“The admissions to CPL will be announced in March and BAMEL is expected to start from July this year,” informs Shaw.

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