Cubex India, a company in Mumbai that sells and helps maintain mining and other heavy equipment, is teaming up with Canadian flight training school Winnipeg Aviation and Canadian education institution Red River College to establish an ab initio training school in India.
“We have shortlisted three airports in India,” Cubex India managing director Hemant Shah says from Mumbai.
One is a commercial airport and the others are non-commercial airports, says Shah, adding that “I prefer to have the school at a non-commercial airport so” there are fewer restrictions on flying.
Shah says he hopes to open the school within 12 months and it will start with a student intake of around 34.
It will have six primary trainer aircraft, a mix of Cessna 152s and Cessna 172s, and one Piper Seneca, says Shah, adding that he has had preliminary discussions with Cessna.
He says the school will start with three or four instructors, all of whom will come from Canada.
Canadian flight training school Winnipeg Aviation will be Cubex India’s main partner in the venture and the two companies are familiar with each other.
Cubex India has already sent Indian students to the Canadian flight school. Shah says 34 students were sent to Winnipeg Aviation in the Canadian city of Winnipeg and 11 have graduated, some of whom are now working for Indian carriers such as SpiceJet and Indian Airlines.
He says he could continue sending people to Canada but - considering India has too few pilot training schools and a huge demand for skilled pilots – it makes sense to establish an ab initio school in India.
Cubex also wants to contribute to the country, he adds. Cubex India is an offshoot of Cubex, a firm headquartered in Winnipeg that is controlled by overseas-born Indians.
While Cubex India’s initial focus is starting the ab initio school, once it is properly established Cubex plans to expand the business.
Shah says the second phase will involve teaming up with Winnipeg-based education institution Red River College to offer courses in aircraft maintenance and aviation management.
“Red River College is a state-owned college in Canada that already has a diploma programme in aviation management” and maintenance, says Shah.