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Sunday, June 1, 2008

From the Factories: France, Eurocopter Target School for India

R&W Staff

Eurocopter, together with the government of France, plans to set up a flight training school in India, according to published reports.

India’s The Economic Times quoted France’s transport minister last month as saying government officials are in the process of finalizing plans with the manufacturer, which is headquartered in Marignane, France.

"There is a huge shortage of helicopter pilots in India," Dominique Bussereau, French minister of state for transport, said, according to the newspaper. "We have started a dialogue for setting up a training school for such pilots." Bussereau visited India May 12-13.

India’s government earlier this year adopted policies allowing foreign investors to own 100 percent of the stock in helicopter operators in that nation, including flight schools. Foreign investors had been limited to 49 percent stakes. India also has eliminated the import taxes on simulators.

According to some reports, India has about 175 helicopters and fewer than 300 pilots. The number of helicopters is expected to rise by 100 aircraft a year through 2013.

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