Airbus chooses Philippines as next international training hub

Rappler.com
(UPDATED) The country will join Airbus SAS' training centers worldwide, as the aircraft maker continues to increase its fleet in the Asia Pacific region
TRAINING. Airbus SAS' plans to bring in to the Philippines flight simulators of its Airbus A330/A340, and A320 fleet. This photo shows an A320 simulator. Photo from the Airbus website

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Airbus SAS, the manufacturer of the largest passenger aircraft, is setting up a training hub in the country, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) announced.

CAAP Director-General William Hotchkiss III said the aircraft builder is bringing in brand new Airbus A330/A340 full flight simulator and associated suite of devices, on top of two A320 simulators.

“The setting [up of the] training center is seen as a major initiative supporting CAAP’s current efforts to support the type rating training of the growing aviation industry,” Hotchkiss said in a statement Sunday, January 4.

The planned Airbus SAS training center was endorsed by CAAP to the Board of Investments (BOI) to entitle the French aircraft maker fiscal and non-fiscal incentives like income tax holidays, duty-free importation of capital equipment, among others.

This development could make the Philippines an international site for Airbus training as the aircraft maker continues to increase its fleet in the Asia Pacific region, Hotchkiss said.

To date, about 9,160 of the total global airplane orders are destined for the region, data from leading aviation information consultancy Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) showed.

Along with such huge order, there is a demand for 192,300 pilots and 215,300 technicians until 2030, CAPA added.

Both flag carrier Philippine Airlines and low-cost airline Cebu Pacific have pending orders for Airbus aircraft.

In 2014 alone, CAAP issued 24,253 airmen licenses.

Airbus SAS is the manufacturing unit of the Airbus Group, a multinational aerospace and defense firm based in Toulouse, France.

At present, the aircraft builder has training centers in Toulouse (southwestern France), Miami, Hamburg, Beijing, and Bangalore.

Its centers provide exclusive training for flight and cabin, including maintenance personnel of Airbus aircraft.

Airbus also built the A380 – the world’s largest passenger airliner.

In October, Filipino captain Franklyn Desiderio – the first Filipino certified to fly A380 – safely landed the Emirates’ flagship aircraft at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 for a one-off, commercial flight. (READ: First Filipino A380 pilot: Flying a ‘gentle giant’) – Rappler.com