To meet the increasing demand for aviation courses, particularly for pilots and cabin crew, government-owned Air India is planning to set up an aviation university. The university is being established with an aim to provide various programs which can also be an additional revenue stream for it in the long term.
Air India – the national carrier is presently working on tactics and ways to improve the declining financial position. That is why it has already started exploring various options for having a university. As per the initial plans that have been laid out, the university would offer diploma and certificate courses. In due course, degree programs could also be offered.
Air India is staying afloat on a bailout package from the central government and expects an operational profit of Rs. 300 crore in 2016-17 fiscal.
With a motto to create a World-Class University which is at the same time will be highly commercial, the idea is also to have an institution that offers a range of aviation training programs for pilots, cabin crew, operations and engineering staff, among others. The national carrier has also approached Educational Consultants India Limited (EdCIL) to look at the possibility to convert its Central Training Establishment (CTE) in Hyderabad into a deemed-to-be-university.
EdCIL would thoroughly go through the viability aspects and in upcoming 2 to 3 months it will submit its report. After taking the report into consideration, a final decision regarding the conversion would be taken. Moreover, it will take around “2 to 5 years” to turn the Hyderabad training centre into a deemed university depending on the viability. “Once the university is set up, any airline can use the available resources. They can also send their pilots for type rating (training for specific aircraft type)”, Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said.
The CTE has three A320 simulators for pilot training and an ATR 72-600 simulators would be inducted in September. Air India’s Central Training Establishment is being used for training pilots other than associated with Air India since past few years. As of now, the CTE offers courses for pilots, flight dispatchers, engineers, commercial, cargo, management, cabin crew, aviation security, aviation medicine, ramp handling. In the 2016-17 fiscal, the estimated turnover of CTE was somewhere around Rs. 26 crores, thus showing a significant increase of nearly 74 per cent compared to Rs. 15 crore turnover in 2015-16.