Thiruvananthapuram hangar to conduct C-checks on planes

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 30 (IANS) The recently commissioned Air India hangar here will do 12 C-checks on Air India Express flights in the next one year. The A- B- C- and D-checks are conducted on aircraft at regular intervals to ascertain their fitness for continued use.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal Wednesday handed over the approval for such testing here from the Director General of Civil Aviation to Air India authorities here at a function in the hangar complex.

"This is just the third hangar that will be doing C-checks in the country. The fourth such centre will be at Hyderabad's GMR airport. This checking is done on all Air India Express Boeing flights once a plane completes 7,500 hours of flight. It is a highly complicated process and this hangar is now ready for it," said Venugopal, while inaugurating the facility in the hangar.

Under a schedule drawn up for the next 12 months, every month, one Air India Express flight would undergo the C-check every month. The check is expected to take 10 days to three weeks.

The facility was set up at a cost of Rs.100 crore, when the Kerala government gave airport authorities the land for the hangar, free of charge.

"Hitherto, all C-checks was being done in Mumbai. With this facility here, we are certain more jobs would be created, and new ancillary industries will be set up. This hangar facility will now look forward to servicing and maintenance work of European airlines and also other aircraft. Our ultimate aim is to make this place a hub for the aviation industry," Venugopal said.

The minister however sounded a warning to young people keen to enter the aviation industry. He said attractive advertisements should not lure students to part with large sums of money for taking up courses related to aircraft maintenance and engineering (AME).

"I have been approached by numerous students who have paid more than Rs. seven lakh to do a course in AME. They later feel cheated as job opportunities are limited. We will certainly look into what is happening in the education sector in this discipline and recommend appropriate action," Venugopal said.