AI’s CTE eyes deemed aviation varsity status

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Hyderabad: National carrier Air India’s Central Training Establishment (CTE), which is headquartered in Hyderabad, is planning to spread its wings to transform itself into a full-fledged aviation university with satellite campuses at Mumbai and Delhi.

“We are planning to convert CTE into a deemed university by 2020-21. We have already roped in Educational Consultant India Ltd (EdCIL) to prepare the feasibility report,” CTE executive director (training) Amitabh Singh told newspersons here on Thursday.

He said EdCIL, which is expected to submit its report by May this year, will also guide CTE in the process of applying for deemed university status and getting the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities. In its aviation varsity avatar, CTE plans to offer full-time and part-time courses, including MBA courses in aviation management. It also plans to offer engineering diploma courses in various aspects of aviation as well as short term training courses for pilots, aviation security and cabin crew, among others.

“We already have 20 acres of land in Hyderabad and need to only expand the existing 99-room hostel facilities by adding another 149-150 rooms. We also have three Airbus A320s flight simulators in Hyderabad and will be getting an ATR simulator costing around Rs 65 crore by October this year to train Alliance Air pilots and ATR pilots from other airlines,” Singh said.

While the CTE headquarter at Hyderabad has three simulators, Air India’s CTE facility in Mumbai (at the old airport at Kalina) has four flight simulators for Boeing 737s, 747s, 777s and 787s. The Delhi CTE facility currently only conducts ground refresher training for pilots and crew based in Delhi.

Talking about the reasons for wanting to transform into a full-fledged varsity, Singh said: “India currently does not have a quality aviation training institute. We have decades of experience in aviation. It will make Air India the only entity to offer a range of courses that are currently offered by IATA globally.” Singh said with reveneus of Rs 30 crore, CTE Hyderabad is already making profits but the deemed university status will make it a profit centre with a range of courses catering to various aspects of aviation.

Currently, the CTE provides courses for pilots, engineering, commercial, cabin crew, aviation security, aviation medicine, flight dispatchers, management, cargo, ramp handling and other customised courses not just for its staffers but also for other domestic and international airlines.