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Posted at: Mar 18, 2017, 12:45 AM; last updated: Mar 18, 2017, 12:45 AM (IST)

Airbus India Training Centre to take wings by 2018-end

No plan of assembly line in India for now, says aircraft maker

To train over 800 pilots annually

  • Airbus India Training Centre will cater primarily toAirbus operators in India and the region
  • It will be operational by the end of 2018 with twoA320 full-flight simulators, increasing to four andpotentially to six simulators in due course
  • It will have an initial capacity to train over 800 pilotsand 200 maintenance engineers annually
  • Airbus has more than 250 aircraft in service in Indiaand over 570 are on order by Indian airlines
Airbus India Training Centre to take wings by 2018-end
Union Minister for Civil Aviation P Ashok Gajapathi Raju (R) receives a model of plane by Airbus CEO Tom Enders during the unveiling of the Airbus India Training Centre in New Delhi on Friday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 17

French aircraft manufacturer Airbus today began work on its first fully-owned training centre in Asia, with the ground-breaking ceremony at Aerocity, near Indira Gandhi International Airport here. Vistara, the joint-venture airline of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, became the first airline to sign an agreement with Airbus to train its pilots at the centre.

Vistara said it had signed a five-year agreement with Airbus Group India Pvt Ltd to provide training to its pilots for the A320 aircraft.

Airbus India Training Centre (AITC) brings state-of-the-art technology to India for the training of flight crew. It is equipped with latest software that accurately simulates the aircraft-handling characteristics and system responses.

The ground-breaking ceremony was performed by Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Tom Enders, CEO, Airbus. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha was also present.

Airbus said it has no plans to set up a final assembly line for large commercial aircraft in India in the immediate future. However, Airbus could have an assembly line for helicopters and military aircraft, going forward, CEO Tom Enders said. “We have no plans to put a final assembly line of large commercial aircraft into each and every market. But on the other hand, I would acknowledge too that in future, there could be final assembly line for large aircraft,” Enders said.

India is the fastest growing domestic aviation market in the world and is expected to continue growing at an annual rate of 9.3% over the next 20 years, outpacing the world average of 4.6%. The number of trips per capita in India is expected to quadruple by 2035 due to a combination of economic and demographic factors.

To cater to this huge demand, Airbus forecasts a requirement for at least 1,600 new passenger and freighter aircraft by 2035. The consequent increase in Indian in-service aircraft fleet will lead to an accompanying need for over 24,000 new pilots and maintenance engineers.

“India’s rapidly growing passenger aircraft fleet must be matched by adequate availability of skilled pilots and maintenance engineers. Airbus’ pilot and maintenance engineering training centre is the type of facility which will help augment the talent pool of such personnel and thus be a force multiplier for the Indian aviation sector,” said Raju.

“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. It is a symbol of our enduring partnership with this country,” said Enders. The AITC will 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. The centre will cater primarily to Airbus operators in India and the region.

(with PTI inputs)

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