The National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) is installing a new flight simulator to train Boeing 777 pilots. It would come up on its Kalina campus to the south-west of Mumbai airport in three to four months.
NACIL (A) already operates three flight simulators for Boeing 747,737 and Airbus A310.
A spokesperson for the national carrier confirmed the installation of the new simulator and said it should not take more than three to four months to come up.
A flight simulator tries to copy real-time flying experience and is a widely used tool to train pilots. Those used for pilot training resemble full-size cockpits and are mounted on computer-controlled hydraulic actuators.
The exact cost of setting up the 777 simulator could not be verified but an Air India official said it could be between 16 and 20 million dollars. Simulators are usually installed after an airline purchases new aircraft from the manufacturer. Post placing orders,the usual practice is that the manufacturer trains five sets of pilots from the airline on the new aircraft. Other pilots are trained by instructors using simulators, said the official.
The national carrier has purchased 13 Boeing 777s (including different variants) and operates five leased ones,while 13 777s are still in the order books. Air India first inducted a Boeing 777 long-range (LR) worldliner airplane on July 26,2007,the 777 200LR. The carrier had placed an order for 68 777 jets in December the largest order in commercial aviation history in India. The order consisted of 23 777s including eight 777-200LR worldliners,which Air India had used on daily non-stop flights between New York and Mumbai from August 1,2007. Also the order included 15 777-300Ers and 27 787-8 Dreamliners.
Air India Express,a wholly owned subsidiary of NACIL,had also ordered 18 next-gen 737-800s.