By Brendan Gallagher
“We want to see our air transport market booming,” quipped Indian civil aviation minister Praful Patel yesterday as he struggled to make himself heard over the thunder of the air display.

The minister’s words came just after he had signed an MoU with Canadian training and simulation provider CAE (Chalet D231) relating to two of India’s leading pilot training establishments. CAE and the Indian government have created a joint venture for development of the National Flying Training Institution (NFTI) in Maharashtra State and management of IGRUA, the government flight training academy in Uttar Pradesh.

The aim is to build up to a total annual output of more than 600 air transport pilots a year from the two establishments. “India is set to become the world’s fastest-growing air transport market,” said CAE civil training and services group president Jeff Roberts. “Based on the 400 new airliners currently ordered by the country’s carriers, India is going to need at least 5,000 additional air transport pilots over the next five years.”

Also contributing to demand is a projected addition of 500 aircraft to the Indian corporate aircraft fleet over the same period.
Montreal-headquartered CAE plans to invest an initial $20 million in the new venture and expects to see revenues over the coming decade of $50-60 million, depending on the range of capabilities introduced.

Under the terms of the MoU the NFTI will be jointly owned by CAE and the Airport Authority of India. At IGRUA the Canadian company will manage all existing activities, including flight operations, maintenance, air traffic control, security, and staff and student facilities.

Source: Flight Daily News