SINGAPORE: A new 9,250-square-metre training centre opened at Seletar Aerospace Park on Monday (Apr 18). A joint venture between aeroplane manufacturer Airbus and Singapore Airlines (SIA), it is set to become the largest Airbus flight crew training centre in the world, offering courses for up to 10,000 flight crew trainees per year.
When fully operational in 2019, the US$100 million (S$135 million) facility will be home to eight full-flight simulators, including three A350 XWBs, one A380, two A330s and two A320s. It will also have two additional simulator bays for potential growth. The centre is Airbus' fourth, alongside those in Toulouse, Miami and Beijing.
The centre is open to airlines across the region and 17 have already chosen the centre for their flight training. In addition to SIA, they include Qatar Airways, Qantas, China Airlines and Japan Airlines.
Airbus estimates that rising demand for air travel in the Asia-Pacific region will drive commercial airlines to grow their regional fleets from 5,600 to more than 14,000 over the next 20 years. This will require an additional 100,000 pilots, according to Airbus.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said the centre enhances the value proposition of Singapore as an air hub, offering the whole suite of services beyond the established maintenance, repair and overhaul activities, to after-sales support and the training needs of the global aerospace industry.
Said Mr Iswaran: "These are adjacencies where our companies can work with their international partners to grow into because they create new opportunities.
"Secondly, it also creates good job opportunities for Singaporeans. We have pilots who have got a good 30-over years of experience flying for, say for example SIA, who are now involved here in the training centre providing training expertise and also helping to set standards."
He added: "I think we're going to see more of these kinds of opportunities where traditional sectors are growing because of new requirements in the market and market growth, so we have to work with our existing partners and bring on board additional capabilities to address some of these new opportunities."