Hyderabad: Gurugram-based Flight Simulation Technique Centre (FSTC) which provides simulation-based training to airline pilots is setting up its first simulation training centre in south India in Hyderabad. The company will invest Rs 250 crore in the facility that will come up in a one-acre land in GMR Aerospace Park in Shamshabad. The funding for the new centre will come from internal accruals and equity.
The company has been catering to aviation industry in India and neighbouring countries since last six years from its existing centre in Gurugram that has five simulators, but growth of aviation in the country has made the company to spread its presence in key aviation hubs across India choosing Hyderabad to start with. The company plans to go pan-India.
Captain D S Basraon, director & CEO, FSTC, said, “The facility is planned to ease out operations for our partner airlines and aviation community based in south of India. The eight-bay facility will be holding different genre of brand new simulation machines of Boeing, Airbus, ATR & DASH 8 (Q-400).”
He told Telangana Today, “We have invested Rs 125 crore in our Gurugram centre and are spending double that amount in Hyderabad, which shows the potential we see in Hyderabad. We are expecting the first simulator to be ready in Hyderabad by July this year while the entire facility with all eight simulators will be in place by mid of next year. These simulators will offer training of 25,000 hours per year annually. We train candidates on aspects such as flying aircraft with hydraulic and engine failures using simulators. They should be prepared for 2,000 kind of emergencies.”
He further explains, “Hyderabad has best flying schools, international airports and manpower with technical qualifications in aviation making it a best fit for setting up a full-fledged centre. Hyderabad is one of the best cities with air connectivity. The cost of real estate in Hyderabad is lesser than that of Bengaluru making it a better choice in south. With 40 aicraft parked during nights at the airport and 32 more to add, the centre can serve a lot of pilots with the needed training.”
The facility will offer five simulators in the first phase and three in the second phase. The company is the first in India to obtain European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA’s) approved training organisation (ATO) qualification recently.
“Airlines based in south will be able to make substantial savings in both costs and time by sending pilots to train at the FSTC’s Hyderabad facility, said Captain Sanjay Mandavia, director, FSTC.
He adds, “Airlines usually send their pilots twice a year to upgrade themselves with training from facilities like us. We train pilots who have undergone commercial pilot licence. Continued training on commercial aircraft is not only expensive but also risky.”
The 55-day simulation training course will come for a package fee of Rs 15 lakh per trainee. Hyderabad centre is expected to achieve breakeven in next 5-6 years. The centre will have 40 employees to start with, which will double in the next 1-2 years.
FSTC is a standalone ATO by DGCA in India and approved by EASA. It also holds accreditation by Airbus and Boeing. Around six hundred pilots had already been trained by FSTC and placed with major airlines such as Indigo, Vistara, Jet airways, Spice Jet, Air Asia, GoAir, Alliance Air and Air India. India is expected to have 1,000 aircraft by 2025 needing close to 12,000 pilots.