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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Canadian Flight School Targets India Pilot Shortage

TRAINING

While the aviation market in India is booming, many flight schools and pilot training academies are setting their sights on the Far East.

The Canadian flight school Winnipeg Aviation is looking to establish a school in Maharashtra, India. St. Andrews, Manitoba-based Winnipeg Aviation already specializes in training Indian pilots, having trained 55, and sees the potential of growth with the investment of a $10-15 million facility.

Winnipeg Aviation sees the looming pilot shortage in India as an opportunity to grow its business.

Winnipeg Aviation’s managing director for India and the Far East, Hemant Shah, was quoted by India’s Economic Times as saying, "We shall be investing $3-4 million in the first phase that will go into developing infrastructure like hangers, airstrip and aprons at the airport to start flight training operations."

He said Winnipeg Aviation is awaiting clearances from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation to open the facility.

India’s government recently decided to permit 100 percent foreign ownership of flight schools in the country. — Evan Sweetman

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