FLYING TRAINING SCHOOLS: SURVIVING THE PANDEMIC
Aviation Update|August 2020
FLYING TRAINING SCHOOLS: SURVIVING THE PANDEMIC
According to conservative estimates made by FICCI in March 2020, around 1000 plus passenger planes were expected to come to India by 2030.
Bhupinder S. Nijjar

Consequently, the business outlook was certainly a positive one, as also were the projected requirements of pilots. Sensing a business opportunity, many training organisations such as the DGCA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) endorsed Flight Simulation Training Centre (FSTC), mushroomed across the aviation industrial landscape pan India, which aimed to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding ecosystem. There were acquisitions, and expression of interests, to establish new training establishments. For example, besides acquiring the Gujarat Flying Club, the FSTC had already established a centre for providing type rated training on A320/B737/ ATR/ Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 aircraft near the Shamsabad airport. Some of the airlines, such as Indigo, aimed for an ambitious expansion plan. In October 2019 Indigo placed a firm order for 300 Airbus Aircraft.

To meet the obvious needs for the pilots, which is usually in the range of 10 to 12 per aircraft for efficient flight operations, and also to meet the company quality control standards, they appointed a training institute (Insight Aviation) to meet the projected requirements of pilots. Many of these institutes offer programmes to provide end to end flying and ground training services through a contractual agreement. For meeting the flying training requirements, these institutes have further contractual agreements with other specialist institutes.

For example, Insight Aviation has its trainees sent to 43 Air School, South Africa for flight training. Typically, a trainee has to spend a cumulative sum of over Rupees 10 million in order to attain a qualification standard, which would enable him to occupy a first officer cockpit vacancy. With the booming aviation industry and the supporting ecosystem, there were enough candidates willing to spend such a large sum of money.

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August 2020