Odisha is set to establish the first Aviation Security Training Institute (ASTI) to cater to the growing civil aviation sector in the state. The ASTI will provide training to various stakeholders, including police personnel and industry professionals. This development comes as the state has witnessed notable growth in its aviation sector, with three new airports commencing operations alongside the existing Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in the capital.
The proposed institute is expected to be located on the premises of the Government Aviation Training Institute (GATI), currently known as the Biju Patnaik Airspace Academy. The ASTI aims to commence operations within two months, with the capacity to train 40 individuals simultaneously. BPIA Director Prasanna Pradhan mentioned that the ASTI would meet the mandatory training requirements for security staff before obtaining licenses for operating airports. The government has allocated Rs 275 crore for transforming the Birasal airstrip into a state-of-the-art pilot training center, capable of training 500 pilots annually.