Pilot training school gets boost

 Pilot training school gets boost

Pilot training school gets boost

New Zealand’s largest pilot training business has boosted its fleet to 37 with $2 million recently invested in six new Piper aircraft fitted with “smart” digital instrument panels.
Christchurch-based International Aviation Academy of NZ Home says demand from overseas students is bolstering its pilot-flight instructor business, with an annual turnover of around $7m in the year ended March 31.
The academy flew 27,500 hours in that financial year, much of that from a grass runway parallel to the main Christchurch airport runway.
“The last year has seen growth in flying hours of 30 per cent, revenues of 30 per cent and indicated profits from the recently closed 2008-09 financial year of 60 per cent,” IAANZ chief executive Chris English said. “We just bought six glass cockpit [digital display] aircraft that cost $2m, so it’s not all doom and gloom out there. We’ve got plans to buy another four next year for another $2m.”
Last year the academy had a total pilot intake of 120, including 40 international students.
IAANZ is the professional flight training division of the Canterbury Aero Club, which was established in 1928 and owns the flight training arm.
The division is based at Harewood aviation park and has 50 full-time staff and 37 aircraft.
The aircraft purchase included three 4-seater Piper Warriors a trainer capable of 110 knots; and three 4-seater Piper Archers, for more advanced cross-country training with autopilots. Both have “smart” glass cockpit controls.
“Glass cockpit is the term used for digital technology, which sees the traditional analogue instruments and gauges being replaced by two digital screens which display all the information required to fly the aircraft. This is similar technology as that used in airliners manufactured by Boeing and Airbus,” English said.
The other 32 aircraft include four twin-engine IFR trainers, and three simulators.
In the Indian state of Kerala recently, English found the state had only eight training aircraft.
“This means students wanting a commercial pilot’s licence take eight years to complete it.
“By coming to the [New Zealand] academy, these qualifications, which include a commercial pilot’s licence, a multi-engine rating and an instrument rating, will be completed in 12 months,” English said.
The academy is the only flight training business in New Zealand that owns and operates its own engineering division to maintain the training fleet.
06/04/09 Alan Wood/The Press/Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand

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~ by anand213 on April 7, 2009.

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