Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Pilot Dares to Dream, To Establish a Flight Simulation Training Centre in Delhi NCR

As domestic civil aviation market in India continues to register an impressive growth, there is a growing demand for trained pilots. To cater to this demand, a new full-flight simulator training centre is coming up at Gurugram near Delhi’s IGI international airport.
Dubbed as the fastest growing domestic aviation market in the world, India’s civil aviation sector is likely to grow at an annualised 9.3% over the next 20 years, outgrowing the world average of 4.6%.
Aviation major have forecast a requirement for at least 1,600 new passengers and freighter aircraft by 2035. Corresponding increase in the country’s aircraft fleet will result in need of over 24,000 new pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers.
“At present we do not have sufficient flight simulators and training facilities which can keep pace with the growth of civil aviation market in India. The upcoming flight simulator centre will finally emerge as the biggest in the country catering for single-aisle Airbus A 320 and Boeing 737 types of aircraft,’’ said Captain Sachin Khandekar, a pilot with Jet Airways who is the driving force behind the new simulator centre.
He mentioned the new training facility will be the country’s biggest privately owned in Delhi NCR and it will be extended to Mumbai in the times ahead. The total estimated cost of the simulator training facility would be of Rs. 500 crore; which will be fully capable of training professional commercial pilots from India as well as abroad at most economical charges.
The spirit of entrepreneurship in Capt. Khandekar was in search for newer and prospective opportunities. With humble beginnings as a son of a class IV helper, he lived with the family in a Mumbai chawl and completed his initial education in a municipal school.
Adverse circumstances and poor economic conditions did not deter him from being a topper throughout and landing a job with an MNC followed by becoming the Head of Department that took him to London. But his dream of one day flying a plane kept him going. With his savings over the years, Sachin Khandekar earned the wings on his own and completed his training as a commercial pilot.
His thirst for achieving something new pushed him to float a flight simulator project after planning and discussing it among his network of aviation experts and from other chores of society from India and abroad. As a pilot he was aware of the huge gap in supply of flight simulators in civil aviation and wanted to bridge it so that pilots could train in India itself.
30/01/19 Saurav Chaudhary/The India Saga