Business Standard: March, 2014
Mumbai: Pratt & Whitney (P&W) plans to set up an engine training centre at Hyderabad airport to train aircraft engineers and technicians on current and new engine models. The Hyderabad training facility will be Pratt & Whitney’s third such centre in the world and will be operational early next year, said Palash Roy Chowdhury, country manager (India), Pratt & Whitney. He, however, declined to share the total investment for the Hyderabad centre.
At present, over 300 aircraft in India use engines made by P&W and International Aero Engines (a joint venture company in which P&W is an important stakeholder). The company will be supplying the geared turbofan engines for another 300 Airbus and Embraer planes ordered by GoAir, IndiGo and Air Costa.
An engine maker provides training credits to airlines when it supplies new engines. Currently, aircraft engineers and technicians who work on P&W engines travel to the US for training. With the Hyderabad centre coming up, there will be no need to travel to the US and this will help airlines save costs.
The centre, which will come up on two acres of land at GMR aerospace park, will also train aspiring engineers and technicians. This will be the second such engine training centre at Hyderabad airport, which also has a facility developed by CFM International.
“We do not have enough trained manpower to support the aviation growth in India and we will leverage the infrastructure to bridge the talent gap,” said Roy Chowdhury. He added the centre would impart entry-level courses and refresher courses as well as provide certification. The centre will have two engines - V-2500 engine used on Airbus A320 plane and geared turbofan engine, which will be used on Airbus’ A320neo and Embraer jets.
GoAir and IndiGo have ordered 72 and 150 A320neo planes, respectively, while Air Costa has ordered 150 E-2 jets that will use P&W engines. “All airlines in India are using our engines or have signed up for them,” said Roy Chowdhury.
“Aircraft engineers need certification on specific type of engine and aircraft. The setting up of training centre in India is an important development as it will save costs for airlines. Engineers need to undergo class-room and on-job training, and need to pass examination before securing an endorsement on their licence from the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation). Air India has its own training centre where its instructors train engineers. For the initial training, engineers were sent to the US. Jet Airways, too, has a training facility. The P&W facility can train engineers from new and small airlines from India and abroad,” said aviation consultant Rajeev Kapur.