To address the growing demand for trained pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers, aerospace giant Airbus will set up India’s first full flight simulator and training centre near Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd (DIAL), a GMR-led consortium, signed a land licence agreement with Airbus India on Thursday to set up the facility.
Civil Aviation minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju performed the ground-breaking ceremony of the project.
“The land licence agreement was signed between the DIAL and the Airbus India for a period till 31st March, 2036. The DIAL has received the initial security deposit and the advanced development charges (ADC). It will also receive an annual license fee from this license,” said a DIAL spokesperson.
India, the fastest growing domestic aviation market in the world, is expected to grow at an annualised 9.3% over the next 20 years, outpacing the world average of 4.6%.
To cater to this huge demand, the European aviation major 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.
“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 CEO of Airbus Tom Enders.
The Airbus India Training Centre spread over almost 7000sqm 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 in due course.
It will start with an initial capacity to train over 800 pilots and 200 maintenance engineers annually.
Vistara, a joint-venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has also signed a five-year agreement with the Airbus to provide training services to Vistara pilots for the A320 type aircraft.
“This partnership underlines our uncompromising commitment to uphold the highest safety standards and operational excellence. I am confident that our pilots will immensely benefit from Airbus’ in-depth and specialized training solutions. It will help us tread a path towards industry leadership,” said Phee Teik Yeoh, chief executive officer of Vistara.