Airbus will establish its first facility in Asia for the training of maintenance engineers and aircraft pilots near New Delhi’s international airport.
A ground breaking ceremony took place at the site on Friday (Mar. 17) for the 7000m2 site, which is expected to begin operate in late-2018.
Once built, it will house two Airbus A320 flight simulators, increasing to four and potentially to six simulators over an unspecified period.
Approximately 200 maintenance engineers will be trained annually to start with, along with 800 pilots. Airbus said the center will cater for Airbus operators in India, which operates more than 250 Airbus jets and has more than 570 on order.
According to data from the OEM, India is the fastest growing domestic aviation market globally with a forecast annual growth rate of 9.3% over the next 20 years, more than double the 4.6% worldwide average.
In order to meet demand, Airbus estimates at least 1,600 new passenger and freighter aircraft are needed in India by 2035, with the in-service fleet requiring more than 24,000 maintenance technicians and pilots to service them.
“India’s rapidly growing passenger aircraft fleet must be matched by adequate availability of skilled pilots and maintenance engineers,” said Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, union minister of civil aviation.
“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.”