As more flight training schools are established or expanded in South-East Asia, UK-based Alpha Aviation Group recently inducted its first group of cadets at a newly opened pilot school at Clark, outside Manila in the Philippines.

The cadets, each paying $75,000 for the course, began training at the Clark Institute of Aviation on 29 January and should receive an Airbus A320 type rating within 12 months.

Alpha Aviation Group now has two training centres, the other being the Bond Aviation Solutions centre in Amsterdam, where it has a Boeing 737 full-flight simulator. Alpha acquired UK-based Bond in the second half of last year.

Chief commercial officer Nigel Harwood says the company is looking at establishing pilot training schools in emerging markets such as India and the Middle East, adding that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with an airline in the Middle East for a joint-venture centre.

"It is our intention to have a number of institutes set up around the world," says Harwood, who adds that one of the reasons the Philippines was chosen for the company's first new centre was the country's low cost base. "By the end of this year we would like to have four up and running."

Harwood says Alpha is looking to add a second simulator at the Clark Institute "probably later this year or early 2008", of a type yet to be determined. The school has a Level D full-flight simulator for the A320, which should be ready for training by April. I

In addition to training pilots enrolled at the centre, spare time on the simulator will be sold to airlines wishing to conduct their own training.

Source: Flight International