India's Air Deccan plans to open a pilot training centre in Bangalore later this year with Airbus A320 and ATR 42/72 simulators that will also be available to other carriers.

Managing director Capt G R Gopinath says the centre will open at Jakkur Aerodrome in Bangalore and initially house a full-flight simulator being supplied by ATR as part of Air Deccan's order last month for 30 ATR 72s.

At the moment Air Deccan, which already operates seven ATR 42-320s, sends its ATR pilots to Bangkok and Toulouse for training, and it aims to sell time on the simulator to other ATR operators in southern Asia.

ATR chief executive Filippo Bagnato says the manufacturer will jointly own and operate the simulator with Air Deccan, and adds that a maintenance and logistics facility is also being considered to support India's fast-expanding fleet of ATRs. Along with Air Deccan, Indian Airlines' division Alliance Air and Jet Airways already operate the aircraft in the country.

"It is our intention to link with Indian industrial players, for example Hindustan Aeronautics, to provide local capacity to support the fleet," says Bagnato.

Gopinath says Air Deccan plans to add in the third quarter an A320 full flight simulator that will be acquired from CAE or Thales. Air Deccan now operates three A320s, but another two will be delivered later this month and another 30 will be added over the next five years as part of an order placed in December.

The only other A320 simulators in India are now owned by Indian Airlines, but the A320 fleet in the country is poised to grow rapidly. Low-fare start-up Kingfisher has also ordered 10 A320s and leased three of the type.


Source: Flight International