Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Company (HNCA) and BAA Training, a subsidiary of Avia Solutions Group, have signed a $60 million joint venture agreement on a new aviation training centre in Zhengzhou City.

BAA Training China will provide a full scope of pilot, cabin crew and ground handling aviation training in six full flight simulators, including Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft, at the facility in Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone, a short drive from Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport.

It is expected to have its first simulator up and running in the second half of 2020 and, when fully operational, will provide 40,000 hours of FFS training for up to 4,000 pilots a year.

The centre is needed to cope with the industry’s sustained growth in China, where annual flying time has soared from 6.19 million hours to 10.5 million hours over the past five years, according to the country’s civil aviation authority.  

Boeing and Airbus predict up to 325,000 pilots will be needed in the Middle East and Asia Pacific over the next 20 years, with China’s fleet expected to more than double and reach 18% share of the world’s fleet.

“Combining the specific BAA Training know-how in aviation training built through 20 years of experience, with Avia Solutions Group aviation business solutions and expertise, and working closely with Civil Aviation Administration of China – BAA Training China not only will identify and understand but also fulfill China aviation training needs with the highest quality solutions,” said BAA Training CEO Egle Vaitkeviciute.

The Zhengzhou City facility in conjunction with HNCA, a Chinese government company, is part of BAA Training's plans to open more centres to tackle the global pilot shortage. A new centre has been completed and is set to open in Vietnam in August with the company also looking at European locations.

“This is the next step in our diligent pursuit towards strategic goal to have 50 FFS network by 2025," said Gediminas Ziemelis, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Avia Solutions Group. "We just recently opened our new location with capacity of four full flight simulators in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and we are planning to step into Italy and Spain with our own simulators and training programs by the end 2021."