The GMR group, with three airports under its sway, is entering the fastest growing area of aviation training with an investment of Rs 450 crore.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), 63 per cent controlled by GMR, has entered into a joint venture with Brussels (Belgium)-based Sabena Flight Academy (SFA) to set up a modern aviation academy at Hyderabad.
The new company to impart training for pilots and cabin crew will be operational at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport by January 2009.
The academy will also provide training for aircraft engineers, technicians, aviation consultants, airport operations staff and ramp services agents.
T Srinagesh, COO of GHIAL said in a statement: “It is our vision to create an aviation cluster at Hyderabad.”
“Our partnership with Sabena Flight Academy would be the key element by training skilled people, like pilots, cabin crew besides meeting the needs of our booming aviation industry,” he added.
Jack Waldeyer, President and CEO of SFA said: “We are looking forward to providing high-standard training with a strong accent on flight safety based on our more than sixty years experience.”
SFA’s associate partners— CFM, Sabena Technics and Flight Care—will also be involved in this project.
The academy will cater to the requirement of domestic and foreign airlines that are facing acute manpower shortages.
Involving an investment of more than 80 million Euros (Rs 450 crore) over the next three years, the academy will be able to provide accommodation for more than 200 trainees per year, six full flight simulators, cabin trainers and engineering tools.
SFA is one of Europe’s oldest and most respected pilot training academies and trains more than 300 cadre pilots every year.
Meanwhile, GMR Infrastructure reported a 26.96 per cent rise in gross operating revenue to Rs 1,062.84 crore in the first half of 2007-08 as compared to Rs 837.13 crore for the corresponding period in the last financial year.
The revenue for the period includes income from the Delhi Airport, which stood at Rs 413.99 crore.
EBIDTA during the period stood higher at Rs 325.11 crore from Rs 259.39 crore in the same period last year.