[photopress:air_flight_simulator.jpg,full,alignright]An agreement signed by Air China could see it becoming one of the largest airline training providers in the world. It has signed a framework agreement to build a training center in Shunyi near Beijing airport that will eventually house 30 full-flight simulators as well as other pilot and cabin-crew training equipment.
Air China said the framework agreement ‘is a letter of intent and final details still need to be worked out’. It adds ‘there is no specific timetable’ for building the new training center.
Air China says its existing center is ‘not that big’ and there have been occasions when the carrier has had to send pilots to other simulator centers in China or overseas. The airline wants a much larger training center to support future growth.
Air China said, ‘We are doing it because we have a plan to expand our fleet, so we need to have more pilots and cabin crew.’
The airline has 187 aircraft in service and another 81 on order, including Airbus A320-family aircraft, A330s and Boeing 787-8s. Air China also has equity stakes in other airlines such as Cathay Pacific Airways, Shenzhen Airlines and Shandong Airlines.
According to statistics from the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), the industry regulator, about 11,000 pilots are employed to fly more than 770 aircraft operated by the major Chinese commercial airlines. This is a figure industry experts say is inadequate to cope with rocketing demand for passenger services.
The Civil Aviation Flight University of China, the nation’s major training school for commercial airline pilots based in Sichuan and Henan provinces, graduates a maximum of 600 pilots a year.
Based on the delivery of new aircraft, industry experts estimate that China has needed between 1,200 and 1,600 new pilots every year since 2000.
Our image is of a flight simulator. It may look like a Dalek but, inside, it is very close to the real thing. Pilots training in one can be put through emergencies that simply never happen in real life.
Source: Source: Flight