New training centre for Airbus pilots gets approval

New training centre for Airbus pilots gets approval
Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong (left) said the Airbus Asia Training Centre will help the industry keep pace with training requirements. Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier (right) said the facility is a huge step in expanding the company’s flight training services.

A VENTURE involving Singapore Airlines to train pilots for Airbus aircraft has been approved by the competition watchdog.

The Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC) will be 45 per cent owned by SIA and 55 per cent by Airbus Services Asia Pacific, and funded with an initial capital injection of $80 million. The centre will provide pilot training on full-flight simulators for a wide range of Airbus aircraft.

Airbus said the facility will initially operate from the SIA Training Centre near Changi Airport, before moving to Seletar Aerospace Park once a building is completed.

SIA could not be reached for comment.

A full-flight simulator duplicates the cockpit environment during the various phases of flight, including providing visual representations of conditions during takeoff, while airborne and during landing.

Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong said early last year when the venture was first mooted: "Demand for air travel is forecast to continue growing steadily in the Asia-Pacific region and the joint venture will help the industry keep pace with training requirements.

"The experience of Singapore Airlines' instructor pilots combined with Airbus' own expertise will ensure that AATC is a centre of excellence, providing a significant boost to the region's pilot training capabilities."

Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier said at the same time: "This facility... is a major step in the further expansion of our global flight training services."

The Competition Commission of Singapore said the joint venture "will not substantially lessen competition in the relevant markets for the provision of Airbus aircraft pilot training services and full-flight simulators (FFS) software and data packages for Airbus aircraft".

In fact, by creating an additional player, the deal is likely to increase the level of competition for pilot training services in the region, the CCS added.

gleong@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Feb 17, 2015.
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