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Air Astana Opens Pilot Training Centre in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Monday, 10 May 2010

Air Astana, the flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, has formed a partnership with Aerosim Technologies, an internationally recognised leader in flight training, to establish a Pilot Training Centre in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Air Astana is the first airline from Asia or Europe to acquire Aerosims Enhanced Virtual Procedures Trainer (EVPT) for training and developing flight operations of pilots on the Airbus A320.\

In procuring and installing the Aerosim EVPT system, Air Astana will save almost US$400,000 a year in overseas training costs. With flight controls and a visual system, training in the EVPT will enable pilots to perform ground operations and in-flight training including the required skills needed to handle electronic, hydraulic, navigation or radio systems failure on the Airbus A320. An additional training device for the Boeing 757/767 is also being installed and one for the Embraer E-190 will introduced in 2011.

The airline has additionally launched a pilot instructor program in co-operation with Delta Air Lines at its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, with 13 Air Astana pilots already certified as training instructors and another 30 pilots undertaking the programme.

Safety is the number one priority for Air Astana, with its pilots having to meet stringent requirements at every stage of training. With the fleet of Airbus A320 Family aircraft continuing to grow and the arrival of the Embraer E-190 in 2011, we need to adopt a long-term pilot training strategy which meets international standards, said Tom Nichols, Vice President - Flight Operations, Air Astana.

In 2008, Air Astana launched the Ab Initio training program for pilots, which is open to application from Kazakh nationals aged 18-29. The selection of future pilots is conducted on a regular basis, with 24 cadets, including one female, Polina Pavlova, currently in the Ab Initio program. All cadets are in training at Pilot Training College, PTC, a prestigious American flight school at Florida Institute of Technology, FIT, located in Melbourne, Florida. PTC uses the most modern equipment consisting of 40 aircraft and flight simulators.

Air Astana is a full member of the Air Transport Association (IATA) and the only airline in Kazakhstan certified to perform aircraft maintenance on European standards EASA/Part 145. The airline currently operates a fleet of Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 757-200, Airbus A321, Airbus A320, Airbus A319 and Fokker 50 aircraft.

Air Astana is a joint venture between Kazakhstans national welfare fund Samruk Kazyna (51%) and BAE Systems PLC (49%). It commenced operations in May 2002.

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