Airbus has committed to establishing a pilot and maintenance center in Delhi to support accelerating growth in India’s airline industry and resulting need for skilled aviation professionals, the European airframer announced Friday. The plan, which calls for the center to open in 2018, coincides with the government’s “Skill India” campaign, launched in 2015 to develop a wide range of home-grown technical expertise. According to Airbus, India will need more than 1,600 passenger and freighter aircraft over the next 20 years.
Under the terms of the commitment, Airbus Group India will fully own the center and staff it with its own instructors. The company plans to build the center using a so-called modular concept to accommodate four A320 full-flight simulators and expansion needs.
“Our new training center underscores Airbus’s long-term vision to equip pilots and engineers with superior flying and maintenance skills to operate and maintain contemporary and next-generation Airbus aircraft to be delivered to the airlines of India,” said Airbus executive vice president of strategy and marketing Kiran Rao.
Airbus has provided maintenance training from its center in Bangalore since 2007, and has so far trained more than 2,750 maintenance engineers. It expects the new center to accelerate the pace of training to help matchA320neo deliveries to India. The new pilot training center will carry enough capacity to train more than 8,000 pilots and 2,000 maintenance engineers over 10 years starting in 2018.
“On an average, one Airbus aircraft per week is expected to be delivered to Indian carriers over the next 10 years,” said Airbus India president Srinivasan Dwarakanath. “The need for top quality training will be perpetual.”
Airbus plans to choose from a short list of suitable sites near the airport area of Delhi and said it will soon finalize agreements for land, construction and simulator installation in 2017. The India center will join an existing network that covers the Americas, Europe and Asia.