Alpha Aviation opens new simulator facility in Philippines

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Bhanu Choudhrie, founder of Alpha Aviation, inside one of this company's simulators.

Alpha Aviation opens new simulator facility in Philippines

Alpha Aviation Group (AAG) has formally opened its new US$11 million Simulator Training Centre Expansion Project at the AAG academy in the Philippines. The new centre, which forms part of AAG’s wider expansion project, will house four additional simulator bays and includes a new Airbus A320 Version 2.0 Full Flight Simulator. The acquisition of the A320 simulator means the number of simulators operated by AAG rises to six.

Fully ready for training, the A320 sim comes with full Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) capability, and with both A320 New Engine Option (NEO) and Current Engine Option (CEO) capability.

The inauguration of the new facilities saw dignitaries gather for the launch event at AAG in Clark, including Bhanu Choudhrie, founder of Alpha Aviation and Raul Del Rosario, Philippines Department of Transportation undersecretary. Choudhrie said at the opening: “We are incredibly proud to launch our sixth simulator, the most of any in the Philippines. The new facilities will become an invaluable asset for our current and future generations of students, enabling them to train to the highest standards.”

Christopher Magdangal, AAG regional director for Asia-Pacific, said: “The launch of our new simulator facility and A320 simulator represent the latest phase of our expansion, in line with AAG’s continuing commitment to provide world-class training solutions to our cadets and partners. These investments are part of our advocacy to help propel the Philippines into becoming the region’s premier aviation training hub.”

Currently over 300 cadets around the world study at AAG. The majority of the group’s 900 graduates, who come from over 40 countries, have gone on to fly with regional airlines including VietJet, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia Philippines.

The new simulator will also enable AAG to increase efforts to tackle gender equality in the commercial aviation industry. Currently, it is estimated just 3 percent of the world’s pilots are women, while on average 20 percent of AAG’s students are female.

The Simulator Training Centre and A320 simulator launch represent the latest phase of AAG’s expansion programme. In 2017 AAG purchased two new simulators (A320 and A330/340). In 2018 and 2019, AAG expanded its fleet of Cessna training aircraft, from 16 aircraft to 32.

Following the launch of the Simulator Training Centre, AAG will also later this year be accelerating the construction of the group’s new International Training Centre for Aviation Training (AICAT). AICAT is a second training site in the north of the country which will include a hangar to accommodate new Cessna aircraft, offices, operations rooms, classrooms and dormitories.

Boeing’s latest Pilot Outlook predicts that the global aviation industry will require 804,000 more pilots by 2038, with the largest proportion of those – 266,000 – required across Asia-Pacific.

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Asian Aviation
Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.

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