Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hobby Flying in India

Commercial aviation in India is booming, as is the demand for professional pilots, but the development of "Hobby Flying" shows that the industry's growth is not restricted to the commercial side. Though infrastructure still serves as the key bottleneck, some 50 private aircraft were added over the last year to the country's flock of 208 general aviation aircraft, according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. A few resort-style aero-sports club expected to open. Dedicated flight schools are encouraging people not only to learn to fly, but to buy, and are seeing uneven interest with "more enquiries from women," according to Anil Thapar, director of Rajasthan Aero Sports Club. The club will serve to train new pilots, with private and commercial classes set to begin in May. As a developing market, general aviation is still perceived to be a very expensive hobby in India, and that is also leading to the development of the microlight market.

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