Hyderabad: Despite having no helicopters and aircraft and no work to do the employees of AP Aviation Corporation and AP Aviation Academy, including maintenance engineers, are paid salaries.
After the Bell 430 chopper crashed killing former CM Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in 2009 and the Augusta Westland 139 helicopter and the entire aircraft fleet of AP Aviation Academy were burnt in a fire both the organisations have nothing left that can fly. Both organisations are placed in the 10th schedule of the AP Reorganisation Act and have to cater to the needs of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
AP and Telangana do not have choppers to fly the new Chief Ministers N. Chandrababu Naidu and K. Chandrasekhara Rao. The proposals to buy new choppers for APACL are pending since long, and after the two new governments were formed discussions were held, but nothing has moved forward.
An official of AP Aviation Corporation said, “a chopper costs Rs 75 crore. We haven't received any proposal for buying new choppers. The company exists only on paper as we do not have any choppers. There is no work at all. Around five personnel are working on deputation from the industries department. Around 10 are working on contract. They are all paid salaries. The salaries are not huge. Both the CMs are using private choppers and aircraft. The corporation is not involved.”
In the mishap at the Begumpet airport hanger on December 18, 2012 an Augusta Westland chopper of APACL and six aircraft of the AP Aviation Academy were gutted.
Experts say the corporation has to be wound up or otherwise the state government would have to share the insurance amount of Rs 63 crore and buy new choppers.
The AP Aviation Academy suffered a loss of Rs 30 crore and lost two Cessna 152 aircraft, two Cessna 172 aircraft, one Learjet and one Pushpak aircraft in the fire at the Begumpet hangar. Pilot training at the Academy has stopped as it doesn't have are any aircraft. The office of APACL has been reduced to just 800 square feet at the Begumpet freight station.