Air India to Launch South Asia’s Largest Pilot Training Center in Amravati

An Air India A350 and operating crew.
Photo Credit: Air India

India’s premier global airline, Air India, is establishing South Asia’s largest Flying Training Organisation (FTO) in Amravati, Maharashtra.

This initiative forms part of the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) project.

Set to open in Q1 FY26 at Belora airport, the DGCA-licensed FTO aims to produce 180 commercial pilots annually.

This pioneering facility, the first by an Indian airline, will feature 31 single-engine and 3 twin-engine training aircraft.

Boosting Pilot Training Capacity

This ambitious project marks a further key step in Air India’s ongoing transformation. The facility promises to substantially boost India’s pilot training capacity.

The state-of-the-art FTO, slated to commence operations in Q1 FY26, will be located at Belora airport in Amravati.

With a target to graduate 180 commercial pilots annually, this facility is poised to become an important cornerstone. It will address the growing demand for skilled aviators in India’s rapidly expanding aviation sector.

An Air India Airbus A350-900 aircraft on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Air India

As the first such initiative by an Indian airline, Air India’s FTO will boast an impressive training fleet. It is projected that it will commence operation with 31 single-engine and 3 twin-engine aircraft dedicated to training purposes.

This comprehensive setup underscores the airline’s commitment to providing thorough, hands-on experience to aspiring pilots.

Part of 30-Year Contract

The establishment of this FTO comes as part of a 30-year contract awarded to Air India by MADC. This reflects the long-term vision behind this project.

Campbell Wilson, Air India’s Managing Director and CEO, emphasized the regional importance of this venture.  

“The FTO at Amravati will be a significant step towards making Indian aviation more self-reliant and offering more opportunities to the youth in India to fulfill their ambitions of flying as pilots.”

Sunil Bhaskaran, Director of Air India’s Aviation Academy, highlighted the FTO’s alignment with global standards.

“The FTO will offer aspiring pilots an opportunity to undergo training with world-class curricula at par with best-in-class global schools,” he remarked.

This initiative also supports the government’s vision for an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) in the aviation sector.

Regional Impact

The project’s economic impact is expected to be substantial. Swati Pandey, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of MADC, projected that the FTO would create over 3,000 new jobs in the aviation sector.

It will contribute more than Rs 1,000 crore to Maharashtra’s GDP over the next decade.

Furthermore, this project will likely stimulate growth in allied industries, including skilling services, technical support, and small entrepreneurial ventures.

Photo Credit: Air India.

The Amravati FTO will feature cutting-edge facilities spread over 10 acres, including:

  • Digitally-enabled classrooms for modern learning experiences
  • Student hostels meeting international standards
  • A digitized operations center for efficient management
  • An in-house maintenance facility to ensure operational excellence

This development complements Air India’s recently announced Training Academy in Gurugram, which will span 600,000 sq ft, making it the largest in South Asia.

Together, these initiatives demonstrate Air India’s comprehensive approach to enhancing India’s aviation training infrastructure.

Conclusion

The establishment of the Amravati FTO is more than just an expansion of training facilities; it represents Air India’s vision for the future of Indian aviation.

By investing in world-class training infrastructure, the airline is not only securing its own pipeline of skilled pilots but also contributing to the overall growth and development of India’s aviation ecosystem.

As India continues to assert itself as one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, initiatives like the Amravati FTO will play a crucial role.

They ensure that the country has the skilled workforce necessary to support this growth. This project comes as the Tata Group further develops Air India and its position in the growing Indian aviation sector.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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