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MPL in South East Asia

Old 16th Aug 2006, 11:30
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MPL in South East Asia

Alpha to open 10 pilot training schools with first set for Asia
"New UK company Alpha Aviation held a ceremony yesterday to promote the launch of its pilot training school in the Philippines, which it plans to be the first of many such schools around the world.

The new Philippines pilot training school is located near the former Clark Airbase, outside Manila, and is set to open in September, Alpha Aviation CEO Mark Pearson says from Clark.

The school’s initial intake will be 18 students per month and each will start with five-months ground school followed by 70hr of flight training in a single-engine aircraft and finally 170hr of flight simulator training, says Pearson. It can take people with no pilot’s license and over a 12-month period give that person the necessary ab initio and simulator training so they qualify for a multi-crew pilot license (MPL), says Pearson.

The school’s first flight simulator will be an Airbus A320 ‘level B’ full flight simulator from CAE which will be installed in January, says Pearson, adding that in the coming weeks Alpha Aviation will also announce details of plans to add Boeing aircraft simulators.

Kingfisher Airlines and Air Deccan of India are the school’s launch customers and it “is also in talks with [Philippine carrier] Cebu Pacific and these talks have been very encouraging”, says Pearson.

These three airlines all operate Airbus A320-family aircraft and currently there is a general shortage of qualified commercial pilots particularly in fast-growing countries such as China and India.

Alpha Aviation is investing $15 million in the school in the first year and about $12 million in the second-year and because response has been good from customers Alpha Aviation is now looking to accelerate the school’s expansion, says Pearson.

Alpha Aviation is a UK company that was established recently. Its owners are UK venture capital firm C&C Sons, Hong Kong company International Aviation Group as well as Singapore firm Prescient Systems and Technologies.

International Aviation Group is Pearson’s company while Prescient Systems and Technologies is the unit of Singapore Government linked company Singapore Technologies Aerospace that provides training systems mostly for military and maritime applications.

“Clark is going to be the first” pilot training school for Alpha Group but it is only one of 10 such schools Alpha Aviation plans to establish in markets around the world such as Europe, the Middle East and Asia, says Pearson.

Other countries in Asia it is looking at include: India, China and Vietnam, adds Pearson. "

Interesting: Indian DGCA going on MPL ????
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