New Delhi, Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Friday performed the ground breaking for a greenfield training facility being set up by the European aviation major Airbus.
The Airbus India Training Centre (AITC) will support India’s growing need for Airbus aircraft pilots and maintenance engineers.
The event was also attended by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and Tom Enders, CEO, Airbus.
“India’s rapidly growing passenger aircraft fleet must be matched by adequate availability of skilled pilots and maintenance engineers,” Ashok Gajapathi Raju said.
Added Tom Enders: “We have only scratched the surface when it comes to the growth of civil aviation in India. This training centre will be the first such facility fully owned by us in Asia.”
Vistara, a joint-venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, signed a five-year agreement with Airbus Group India Pvt Ltd to provide training services to Vistara pilots for the A320 type aircraft.
Phee Teik Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said: “As India gears up to become the world’s third largest aviation market, it is imperative to have adequate world-class training facilities to ensure a steady pipeline of proficient pilots.”
“We are honoured to have Vistara as the first customer for the Airbus India Training Centre. We will start training their pilots when the centre becomes operational end-2018,” said Srinivasan Dwarakanath, President, Commercial Aircraft, Airbus in India.
Dwarakanath added that pilot training centre was for all their customers in India and also for the region.
“At the start, we will partner with the airlines so that we do the type rating training… on top of the type rating training,” he noted.
AITC is Airbus’ first fully owned training facility in Asia and will cater primarily to Airbus operators in India and the region.
The centre will be built in a modular concept in order to become operational by end-2018 with two A320 full flight simulators, increasing to four and potentially to six simulators in due course.
It will start with an initial capacity to train over 800 pilots and 200 maintenance engineers annually.
Airbus has more than 250 aircraft in service in India and over 570 are on order by Indian airlines.