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. The ground-breaking for the Airbus India Training Centre, which will be located close to New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, was performed by P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Tom Enders, CEO, Airbus in the presence of Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation.
The centre will be the latest addition to the Airbus flight crew training network, alongside Toulouse, Miami, Beijing and — most recently — Singapore, but will be the first training facility in Asia fully owned by Airbus. The Hua Ou Aviation Training Centre in Beijing is a joint venture with China Aviation Supplies Import & Export Corporation (CASC), while the Asia Airbus Training Centre in Singapore is a JV with Singapore Airlines.
Airbus already operates two A320 training centres in India: a flight training centre in New Delhi and a maintenance training centre in Bangalore.
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.
To cater to this 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.
The almost 7,000m2 training facility 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. It will start with an initial capacity to train over 800 pilots and 200 maintenance engineers annually.
The centre will initially have 10 pilot trainers and 8 maintenance trainers and 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.
According to local reports, Vistara will be the centre’s first customer, having signed a five-year pilot training agreement. Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines launched in January 2015. The carrier is based at Indira Gandhi International Airport.