IndiGo’s parent company, Interglobe Enterprises, and CAE-Airbus had “broken ground” in the November of 2011 to establish a new pilot and maintenance technician training centre in Delhi. The new centre, located specifically in the Greater Noida Industrial Area, about 40 kilometers southeast of Delhi, is not for the exclusive use of IndiGo airlines, but rather for airlines in India and the neighbouring region.
The focus of the new Delhi training centre will be to provide “wet” and “dry” type-rating, recurrent, conversion and jet indoctrination training for commercial aircraft pilots. Programs will also be offered for maintenance technicians. The Delhi training centre was planned to initially house four full-flight simulators and was planned to accommodate eight simulator bays. Training technology such as CAE Simfinity multimedia classrooms, computer-based training and brief/debrief facilities are used.
Although planned to house 8 full flight simulator bays, the new centre has only 6 full flight simulator bays, with which it plans to “train 5000 professionals per year”. The Full Flight Simulator facility at Bangalore has 3 simulator bays (Two A320 and one B737NG), with the capacity to train 1500 crew members annually. This figure boils down to 500 crew members per FFS per year, leading the Delhi centre to train a maximum of 3000 crewmembers annually.
Of the six simulator bays, only 2 are occupied, at the moment, by two CAE Series 7000 A320s level D simulators, which can handle a maximum of 1000 crew members, annually, until more simulators are added.
This simulator facility marks CAE’s 5th training centre in India, after the CAE FFS centre and CAE “Hatsoff” Helicopter Simulator facility at Bangalore, Praful Patel’s flight school: National Flying Training Institute NFTI bat Gondia, in which CAE has 49% stake, and IGRUA, which is doled out a step-motherly treatment by CAE considering its low stake and low control over operations at the premier flight institute in India.
This new facility at Delhi has begun operations 2 months after Airbus and CAE concluded their training services cooperation, which was done to provide “more flexibility for both companies to serve their respective stakeholders directly”. Airbus assures that “There will be no impact on any airline customers training with Airbus or with CAE following the conclusion of the existing cooperation agreement.”
The new simulator facility takes the total fixed wing Full Flight Simulator count, in India, to 13, comprising of eight A320, four B737NG, two B777, one B747, one B787, and one A330. These simulators are spread out across India, at CAE Bangalore (2 A320, 1 B737NG), CTE Hyderabad (3 A320), FSTC Delhi (1 A320, 1 B737NG), Jet Airways Mumbai (2 B737NG, 1 A330, 1 B777), and Air India Mumbai (1 B737NG, 1 B747, 1 B777, 1 B787).
The new centre takes CAE’s total to about 70 Airbus full-flight simulators in more than 20 locations worldwide. CAE operates the largest network of Airbus simulators.