Aviation Sector Current Affairs - 2019

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India’s first Aviation Multi Skill Development Centre launched in Chandigarh

India’s first Aviation Multi Skill Development Centre (MSDC) was launched at Chandigarh Airport’s old terminal. The Centre is a CSR initiative of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and will initially train 2,360 students free of cost in three years.

Aviation MSDC

The Centre was established in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). It is supported by Aerospace and Aviation Sector Skill Council (AASSC) of India. It will impart training based on course curriculum and assessments designed by AASSC in accordance with National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF). It will train about 2,400 youth and women in 8 aviation job roles over next 3 years.

Background

Demand for aviation skilled personnel is rising commensurately in India with boom in civil aviation sector witnessed in last 3-4 years. In the coming few years, more than 900 new aircraft are expected to be inducted by Indian scheduled airlines. Air connectivity for both passenger transport and air freight is increasing with new air routes and operationalisation of unserved and underserved airports through UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). With this, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and ground-handling demands for skilled personnel are also rising in tandem.

HAL successfully tests Light Combat Helicopter for first time

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for first time has successfully flown home-made 5.8-tonne Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) with its own automatic flight control system. The 20 minute maiden flight of the multirole copter was flawless with the engagement of the flight control system throughout.

Key Facts

The helicopter is powered by two Shakti engines and has many features of indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv. It also has day and night targeting systems for crew, including helmet-pointed sight and electro-optical pod.

It is twin-seat chopper is equipped for day-and-night combat operations with digital camouflage system for stealth actions and is known for its agility. The indigenous flight control system of LCH developed by HAL will replace the imported one.

The company has also indigenised attack helicopter’s display system or integrated architecture display system with involvement of private industry. So far HAL has built four technology demonstrators of LCH for flight testing. One of them also landed in forward bases at Siachen, located 5,400 metres above sea level in eastern Karakoram range of Himalayas.

Background

HAL had received a request for proposal (RFP) on December 22 for the supply of 15 LCH from Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army. The deal was cleared by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in 2016 for purchase of 10 LCH for IAF and five for Indian Army. The LCH also participated in IAF’s Iron Fist exercise in March 2016 and had displayed its rocket-firing capabilities in weaponised configuration. The then Defence Minister Arun Jaitely had launched LCH production when it received the initial operational clearance.