European aviation firm Airbus is setting up a greenfield training facility at Aerocity, New Delhi, to support India’s growing need for Airbus aircraft pilots and maintenance engineers and the ground-breaking for it was performed by Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, Tom Enders, CEO, Airbus said the training centre will be the first such facility fully owned by us in Asia. India is the fastest growing domestic aviation market in the world and is expected to continue to grow at an annualised 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, and 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.
The almost 7000 m2 Airbus India Training 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, he informed.
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. Airbus has more than 250 aircraft in service in India and over 570 are on order by Indian airlines.
Indian Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that 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 center 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, he said. He has asked Airbus to think of creating MRO facility in India to.