(Last Updated on : 22-01-2014)
The Aero Club of India started its journey as the Royal Aero Club of India and Burma Ltd. (RACIB) on 19th September 1927, along with Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA). It attained membership in the apex International aviation organisation, Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), after its inception. FAI is the sole International Sporting body in the world that is authorised to make and enforce rules for encouraging and controlling all kinds of sport aviation events and records, both for aeronautics and astronautics. Being affiliated by the FAI, the ACI performs and organises all Aero Sports at the national level in India. The noted industrial magnate and philanthropist, Sir Victor Sasoon played a key role in the formation of the ACI.
The Aero Club of India (ACI) is the organisation that governs all kinds of activities regarding the games like Powered Flying, Glider Flying, Skydiving, Hang Gliding, Ballooning, Micro-light Flying, Parasailing and Aero-modelling. The ACI is leading all the flying clubs, gliding clubs and aero sports organisations in India, which are engaged in such aero sports activities. The Aero Club of India and its member flying clubs are basically non profit and non commercial organisations and their main aim is to provide basic training to the Pilots and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers. The ACI is also a recognised National Sports Federation by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India
The ACI has done a great job in spreading the popularity of aero sports in India from the beginning of its journey. It recognised the fact that is could attain its objectives only by forming Flying Clubs all over the country and the ACI took its first task accordingly by forming the "Light Aeroplane Clubs". The Delhi Flying Club became the first Flying Club in India when it started its journey in May, 1928. Some other flying clubs were formed within a short span after the inception of the Delhi Flying Club and they were located in the cities like Karachi, Allahabad
. The ACI was the only Authority in India to supervise and issue regulations for Flying Meets and to take official records of test flights in the country and it enjoys the same powers even today. The ACI also had the authority to issue licenses for arms and cameras and wireless facilities to foreign aviators passing through India.
In the early years, the ACI functioned as a branch of the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain till the Independence and its activities were practically suspended during the World War II. After Independence, the organisation was re-constituted as the Aero Club of India Ltd. (ACI) and the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became its first President. ACI became full member of FAI in 1950 and it deleted the word Limited from its name in the year of 1963. The ACI worked in close cooperation with DCA since its inception and till independence (1927-1947). The ACI is responsible for issuing quite a few of the present day regulatory norms like issuance of Aviation Certificates to Pilots.
There are a number of 22 Flying Clubs affiliated to the ACI at the moment and the Clubs have been rendering pioneering and very valuable services in India regarding to ab-initio training of aviation pilots and engineers. The ACI has successfully contributed in both the civil and military sector in India, along with its member flying clubs. The ACI is working hard to encourage Powered flying, Glider Flying, Hang Gliding, Ballooning, Micro-light flying, Para-sailing, Sky-diving and Aero-modelling and other aero sports activities at the moment.
Objectives of ACI are as follows:
1. To encourage, protect and develop the study and practice of Aeronautics and Aviation in India and to provide a Centre of Information and advice on all matters pertaining to Aeronautics.
2. To ensure, as the representative of FAI in India, that the rules and regulations and standards prescribed by FAI for the conduct of the Aero Sports Competitions, are compiled with
3. To provide an all India authority to organize all Competitions, sporting events and controls in connection with Aero sports in India;
4. To supervise and accord recognition to record making flights and maintain National Register on records.
5. To be the Co-ordinating representative body of various Clubs engaged in Aero Sports activities in India and also to provide liaison with the Ministry of Civil Aviation
, Directorate General of Civil Aviation and other Government Departments and also the various Ministries in connection with these activities.