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Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, a trained pilot, says he occasionally takes to the cockpit of airplanes to retain his flying licence.
Rudy, prior to becoming a minister in the Narendra Modi government, was hired as a co-pilot by Delhi-based private carrier IndiGo Airlines on a honorary basis, and has on a few occasions co-piloted and even landed planes.
Asked if he was still flying despite being a serving minister, Rudy, a trained pilot on the Airbus A 320 aircraft, said people fail to understand the aspect that flying was not like a degree, and the licence needs to be kept valid by logging in a certain number of flying hours.
"I just make an effort for keeping my licence alive, I do fly occasionally for my endorsements and my licence. I wear a uniform and do fly, so it should not come as a surprise to you," Rudy, the Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister, said while addressing the media here.
"I fly to retain my licence because being a minister does not enable me to retain my licence," he explained.
Rudy, who has earlier also served as the Civil Aviation Minister, elaborated that the position at which he was flying before becoming a minister requires 8-10 years of training by an individual and spending about half a crore rupees, saying he has chosen to retain his licence.
"So option was whether I abandon that licence for good or I retain it. So, I have made an effort to retain it for the purpose of licensing in which apart from clearing written and vocational exams, health tests etc, I also have to get into the cockpit and log my hours," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)