The aviation activity in the state was started in the year 1973 by a separate division in G.A.I.C. In the beginning, this division was started with a purpose to help the farmers by aerial spraying on various crops like; sugar cane, cotton, ground-nut, tuvar,
etc. by helicopter and fixed wing Aircraft. By these activities, the farmers were benefited in many ways. When there was shortage of rain, cloud seeding operation was also carried out by aircraft for making artificial rain. The state has made G.A.I.C as its
nodal agency to carry out activities of Civil Aviation Department. This has been done so as to meet demand of higher office in efficient manner. In year 2002, the state felt that it was turn to have aviation as a separate department.
Gujarat has a robust civil aviation infrastructure, compared to most other states in India, with the state boasting an international airport at Ahmedabad, airports at Surat, Vadodara, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Kandla and Bhuj that receive regular
scheduled flights, other airports at Keshod near Junagadh, Deesa, Mehsana, Amreli and Mandvi that are suitable for non-scheduled aviation, and private airstrips at Mithapur and Mundra. The state has two flight schools, the Gujarat Flying Club and the Ahmedabad
Aviation Academy, and engineering colleges that offer programs in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering.
In order to further strengthen the aviation sector in Gujarat, the state government created the Civil Aviation Department in 2002 and formed a company called Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company (GUJSAIL) to facilitate investment into new facilities
and services. Since then, the Government of Gujarat has taken landmark initiatives like building a General Aviation M.R.O. at Ahmedabad, reviving the disused Mehsana Airport for flight training, and awarding a contract to Maritime Energy Heli Air Services
(MEHAIR) for starting intra-state operations ensuring faster connectivity between cities in Gujarat. The Civil Aviation Department has acquired land for building Greenfield airports in areas of industrial or touristic importance. It has also identified potential
sites for new airfields, air sports and M.R.O. operations.
The Civil Aviation Department is also planning to build a multipurpose Aviation Park, which will inspire and educate the public at large about aviation services and the aerospace industry. The Aviation Park will also provide the infrastructure for aviation-related
manufacturing and infotech activities. It will include training institutes that will open up career opportunities for Gujarat’s youth in the aviation sector.
The Department of Civil Aviation
The Department of Civil Aviation was created with the aim of facilitating the modernization of aviation infrastructure in Gujarat, encouraging the development of training schools that could develop human resources for the aviation sector, and the creation
of aviation facilities that would aid the growth of tourism and industry.
From its inception, the Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Gujarat, has taken initiatives to
- Develop soft and hard aviation infrastructure
- Promote air operations to small towns and remote places
- Promote air sports
- Encourage training schools that can provide career opportunities in the aviation sector
- Give scholarships to deserving students, girls and underprivileged students for aviation related education
- Increase connectivity to non-connected towns
- Promote regional airlines for intrastate connectivity
- Work with the state government on formulating civil aviation policies and rules
Over the last decade, the Department of Civil Aviation has achieved the following
- New airfields have been commissioned in Mandvi and Amreli
- The disused airfield at Mehsana has been re-commissioned and developed for an operational flight training school
- Work has begun for Ankleshwar Airport start-up, and land acquisition completed for airports at Dwarka, Palitana, Ambaji, Morbi and Bagodhra
- The department is working on starting helicopter services to the sacred summit of Girnar, which has religious significance for Hindus and Jains
- The department has purchased a new helicopter
- GUJSAIL has set up the world-class Maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) facility in Ahmedabad
- The Department has constructed helipads in Gujarat including one at Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital
- The Department has purchased Refuelling Bowser cum Weather Station
- The Department has tied up with INDIGO for providing special fare for the movement of government officials
- The Department has created a website for communication and navigation through information technology