Mumbai: Flag carrier Air India has recently sent a proposal to the developers of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai International Airport (MIAL), asking for permission to construct a new building that would house a flight simulator-training centre.
According to Air India officials, the carrier is keen to set up the facility at the Air India complex in the old airport at Santacruz, and therefore need MIAL's clearance. The new building may ultimately host six simulators of the proposed training center.
Airline officials said that three models have already been identified - one each for the Boeing 737-800, 777 and 787 - while the rest would be decided upon later, depending on market demand. The training centre would be set up as a joint venture (JV) between Air India and Alteon - a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, which operates more than 70 full flight simulators in over 20 locations around the world.
Officials have said that details of the JV are currently being fleshed out, and that it would be part of offset clauses of the 68-aircraft deal Boeing signed with Air India. According to the clause, the US aircraft manufacturer has committed to investing $100 million in a maintenance centre and $75 million in a training centre in India.
The facility is set to result in savings for Air India to the tune of millions of dollars, as all training would now happen in-house. Currently Air India trains its pilots in simulator centres across the world. The new facility would help in cutting down on costs related to training, transport, hotel stay and daily allowance, amongst other things.
The facility would also generate revenues on its own as it draws trainees from other airlines, both national and international.