NEW DELHI: The government has extended the deadline for installing simulator training facility by flight operators in India. The December 31 deadline has been extended to March 2019.
Civil aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) feels that domestic carriers must reduce the use of overseas simulator training facilities. According to DGCA, an airline has to have one simulator for every type of aircraft used, if the number of such aircraft is over 20. “Operators with more than 20 aircraft of one type shall have owned/leased simulator capacity within India for that type,” reads the DGCA directive.
The DGCA guideline also said that ATOs (Approved Training Organisations) should adopt a market-based approach to increase the utilisation of under-utilised simulators first within the country and then with foreign customers through lease options.
The civil aviation ministry wants airlines and aircraft manufacturers to set up flight simulators to meet the rising demand for trained pilots in India. At present, Air India and a few big private carriers, including Jet Airways, have their simulators for their Boeing and Airbus aircraft, while others train their pilots at simulators owned by AI and other private companies in India and abroad.
Officials said that domestic carriers have a shortage of pilots and airlines are hiring foreign pilots. Setting up an in-house simulator could make pilot training easier and reduce dependence on foreign pilots. DGCA has said airlines should phase out foreign pilots.