LanChile trains its engineers at Santiago in a school run by Lufthansa Technik. This is likely to be expanded to become a maintenance training centre for the region. In the past, says Cueto, maintenance engineers came from Chile's air force.

Pilot needs so far have been met by former military aircrew, or they are hired from smaller airlines. Type conversion and recurrent training was provided by LanChile. Now the infrastructure for a Boeing 737-200 simulator is being built, with the simulator to be installed early next year.

Negotiations with Lufthansa Technik are in progress to create a pilot training centre, primarily to train LanChile pilots but potentially open to others if the German company sees a market for training pilots for other airlines, Cueto says. Meanwhile, LanChile is working with one of the Valparaiso universities to recruit pilots who have been trained in an academic discipline.

The intention is to make a career as an airline pilot into a formal profession, contributing to LanChile's continual drive for high levels of safety.

Source: Flight International