Airbus tackles World pilot shortage.


New York (AirGuideBusiness - Business & Industry Features) - Mon, Nov 2, 2015 Asia Pacific's burgeoning aviation market means that some 160,000 pilots will be required in 20 years' time, over twice the current size. A sufficient supply of flight crew is a critical point of concern for the region if it is to cope with its soaring air transport movement. In its latest projection, the European airplane maker Airbus points out that Asia Pacific's passenger traffic will grow at 5.7% per annum, above the global average of 4.7%, over the next 20 years. Such a rapid growth means that the region is expected to require 12,470 new passenger and freight aircraft (worth US$2 trillion), representing 40% of total worldwide demand in the period. Furthermore, 47% of global demand for wide body aircraft, or 4,400, will come from the region. Its requirement for single aisle aircraft is projected to represent 36%, or 8,070, of global demand. The backdrop of a looming shortage of pilots adds urgency to the Airbus led joint venture's construction of a state of the art pilot school in Singapore. The $100 million facility, set to open in the first quarter of next year, will play a key role in partially addressing the issue of pilot availability in the region. Located at Seletar Aerospace Park, the Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC), 55% owned by Airbus with Singapore Airlines (SIA) owning 45%, will be able to offer courses for more than 10,000 trainees per year. Construction of the 9,250 square metre facility is at an advanced stage, with the main buildings complete and finishing touches being added to the roof and access areas. The next stage will be the installation of interior fittings, which will include preparation of the simulator bays and classroom facilities, as well as office space, said AATC general manager Yann Lardet. When fully operational, the centre will feature eight full flight simulators, including one for the A380 super jumbo, two for wide body A330s, two single aisle A320s and three A350 XWBs, the latest midsized wide body aircraft which went into service at the end of last year. The AATC will be the fourth Airbus flight training centre in the European concern's global network, joining those in Toulouse, Miami and Beijing. Instructors will initially be drawn from Airbus...

To continue reading