History of ACI

The Aero Club of India (ACI), then known as Royal Aero Club of India and Burma Ltd., was inaugurated in the year 1927, along with Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA). Since its inception and till independence (1927-1947) the DCA and Aero Club worked in close cooperation.

The Club functioned as a branch of the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain till Independence. In fact, the Constitution of the Club was drawn up along the lines of the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain. During the World War II (1939-1945) the activities of the club were practically suspended.

The Club was affiliated to the Royal Aero Club as well as to the Societe Aviation Internationale.

The Early Years

The Aero Club was responsible for quite a few of the present day regulatory matters such as issue of Aviation Certificates which is equivalent to the present day Pilot License. The Aviators' Certificates were issued by ACI up to 1949. In all 746 Aviators' Certificates were issued.

To mention a few
  • Certificate No. 1 in Feb 1929 to JRD Tata, Nationality - British - First Certificate.
  • Certificate No. 5 in March 1929 to Bhagat Behari lal - First Indian National.
  • Certificate No. 11 May 1929 to Ms Sylla Petit- Nationality British - First lady
  • Certificate No. 97 in May 1930 to Mrs U.K. Parekh - First Indian lady.

ACI has actively participated by providing support and facilities to the notable air races between England and Australia. It was the authority to issue carnets and obtain diplomatic permits for certain countries. The Aero Club was also authorised to issue licenses for arms, cameras and wireless. It was the recognised body to supervise and issue regulations for Flying Meets and to take official records of test flights in the country.

ACI proudly hosted two FAI General Conferences, the first on 21st - 28th November 1970 in New Delhi and then again on 17th - 23rd November 1985 in New Delhi.


The Aero Club functioned as a branch of the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain till independence. It has been headed and patronised by the heads of Government of India and has always enjoyed official support and patronage since its inception.
  • Sir Victor Sasoon, a noted industrial magnate and philanthropist, was the prime motivator in the formation of the Club.
  • The Viceroy of India and Burma was its Patron-in-Chief.
  • The Commander-in-chief of India was the President of the club.
  • The Director General of Posts and Telegraphs was the Vice President of the club.

After India became independent in 1947, the Club was re-constituted as the Aero Club of India Ltd.
  • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India became its first President from 1948 to 1957.
  • Pandit Hirday Nath Kunzru, Member Constituent Assembly of India was Vice President.

In 1984 Capt Rajiv Gandhi became its President and continued to be its President till he assumed the office of the Prime Minister of India.

Currently Capt Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Member of Parliament is the President of Aero Club of India and Shri Milind Mahajan is the Vice-President.

Some of its members have been conferred with National Awards for achieving, distinction in Aero Sports. The achievements of many Indians have been recognised by FAI, these can be found listed on the FAI website and ACI's Hall of Fame.

ACI President - Rajiv Pratap Rudy

Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha)

Commencing his political career as a student union leader, Captain Rudy is an eminent political leader in India. He has served as a Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs in Shri Narendra Modi's government.

Capt Rudy served as the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry during his earlier tenure as a Union Minister during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government. He was elevated as the Civil Aviation Minister with Independent Charge in 2003. He has served 5 terms in Parliament which includes his tenures both in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

He was first elected as an MLA from Taraiya constituency in his home state of Bihar in 1990. Capt Rudy has served in various organizational roles in his party including the National Spokesperson and the National General Secretary in his political career spanning over 27 years.

He is credited as the lone Parliamentarian on the globe operating Airbus-320 commercial jets, flying with one of the largest airlines in India. His name also figures in the Limca book of World records. He has a distinction of having flown a Sukhoi 30-MKI, the Rafael fighter Jet and Gripen, a world class supersonic fighter Jet.

Professionally, he is a teacher of economics and has had a stint as a Legal Counsel. His tenure in Civil Aviation witnessed comprehensive reforms in India, where its footprints can still be observed even today. He has been the first Minister of Skill Development in Government of India and has successful established a robust Skill eco-system.

He completed his schooling from Patna and subsequently graduated in law from Punjab University, post his graduation from Government College, Chandigarh. He currently represents the Parliamentary Constituency of Saran in Bihar.



Aero Sports encompasses all sports activities in the medium of air right from Aeromodelling to Space Travel and occupies a unique position in a very large number of Countries. Competitions, Meets, Seminars rallies and races are held regularly every year in various branches of aero sports at National and International levels. Apart from these events attempts are made for establishing world Records in many fields of Aero sports in distance, speed, altitude and duration of time and accuracy etc.
The main aim and objectives of ACI are:

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;

To provide an All India authority to organize all Competitions, sporting events and controls in connection with Aero sports in India;

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;

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;

To supervise and accord recognition to record making flights and maintain National Register on records.

To endorse competitors enabling them to participate in International competitions under various FAI categories.

Create airmindedness and passion amongst children about aerosports in India



National Adventure Awards (renamed as Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards) have been instituted as the highest national recognition for outstanding achievement in the field of adventure activities on land, sea and air. A provision has also been made for a Life Time achievement Award to persons who besides individual excellence have devoted themselves to the cause of promotion of adventure.

Outstanding performers in the field of adventure activities on land, sea and air are selected for Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards. The Award comprises of bronze statue, a scroll of honour, a blazer with silken tie and a cash award of Rs 3.00 lakh.

Following dignitaries have been honoured with the prestigious Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards:


Wg Cdr (Retd) Amit Choudhury
Life Time Achievement Award

MWO Surender Singh
Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards


Mr B Rajakumar


Aero Club of India

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