Simulator Training Facilities Within India Mandatory: Airline Regulator Tells Operators

Simulator Training Facilities Within India Mandatory: Airline Regulator Tells Operators

Airline operators having more than 20 aircraft of one type should compulsorily have simulator training facility within India, aviation watchdog DGCA has said months after detecting lapses at an overseas simulator training facility used by IndiGo.

Issuing a Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), the regulator today also said domestic operators should “progressively” reduce the use of overseas simulator training facilities. “Operators with more than 20 aeroplanes of one type shall have owned/leased simulator capacity within India for that type by December 31, 2018,” Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.

In June last year, DGCA had ordered budget carrier IndiGo not to train its pilots on one of the two simulators at a training centre in the UK following an inspection of the facility and the subsequent detection of the malfunctioning in one of the two such machines. At present, airlines shell out a significant amount towards training of pilots overseas and having enough number of simulators in the country itself would help in reducing the overall costs for the carriers.

Coming out with elaborate guidelines, DGCA said operators and ATOs (Approved Training Organisations) should adopt market based approach to increase the utilisation of under-utilised simulators first within the country and then with foreign customers through lease options. “Operators should increase training facilities in India through options of offset clauses in lease/purchase of aeroplanes,” it said.

The latest CAR would be applicable on scheduled operators and ATOs imparting training to flight crew for type rating on aircraft with gross weight exceeding 5,700 kilogrammes. A320 from the stable of Airbus and B-777 from Boeing are among the planes that come under this classification. With respect to overseas simulator facilities, the regulator also said that option should be used as far as possible only by operators with less than 20 aeroplanes in a fleet.

Besides, ATOs have been directed to enhance their instructor capacity by December 2018 to fully utilise their installed simulator capacity through their own instructors. Late last year, a panel headed by BS Bhullar who is now heading the DGCA — had recommended that airlines should have simulators for every 20 aircraft in their fleet.

 

News Source: PTI

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