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Student pilots from India invited to train Down Under

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Aspiring commercial pilots in India will have the opportunity to train at a new international flight school in Australia early next year.

An agreement signed between Indira Gandhi Institute of Aeronautics in Jaipur and Natwide Personnel Pty Ltd in South Australia will allow students to hone their craft in the state’s capital Adelaide.

Natwide Personnel is already working with Australia’s oldest flight school, Aerostar, to provide globally recognised training for Australian students.

It is now looking to bring in an additional 40 international students from India to train alongside its domestic apprentices.

The new Memorandum of Understanding comes as a direct result of the sister-state agreement between Rajasthan and South Australia, which would see a boost to business and investment opportunities in the areas of sport, education, and services.

Natwide Personnel Managing Director Bernard O’Hara said the agreement offered an alternative route where Indian students could receive unique pilot training.

“The South Australian conditions are perfect for flight training and we probably have more suitable flying hours than most other places in the world,” he said.

“On top of that you have terrain changes with the Australian outback, Adelaide hills, the ocean – it’s a variety of flying conditions.”

Highly attractive destination

O’Hara said the proximity of Adelaide’s CBD to the airports and its affordable living costs also made it a highly attractive training destination.

The training is conducted in a variety of planes including single and twin-engine aircrafts.

Students will also have the opportunity to practice appropriate skills in state-of-the-art simulators, easing the transition to real-world planes.

The course runs for 12 months to two years and includes about 20 hours a week of practical and theory-based lessons.

Students will not only fulfil the minimum flight time requirement for their commercial pilot certificate but will also receive an instrument rating qualification, which is essential in conducting operations under night VFR.

The flight training will take place at both Adelaide International Airport and Parafield Airport, both of which are within half an hour of the CBD.

More international experience

O’Hara said Indian students would benefit from studying in South Australia because it enabled them to gain more international experience, which would help with their development as commercial pilots.

“Pilots are very nomadic and the job could take them to basically any country afterwards,” he said.

“We are hoping to blend new students in with the Aussie students because there is a lot to gain from having a mixed culture while they’re out there doing the training.

“Having that experience would help them settle in and they can even find work for up to 20 hours a week on a student visa.”

Memorandum of Understanding

The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Adelaide as the fifth most liveable city in the world.

It is also a key destination for Indian students looking to further their tertiary education, where they make up more than 10 per cent of the 32,000 international student enrolments in Adelaide each year.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Indira Gandhi Institute and Natwide Personnel was signed on October 29 and O’Hara will travel to Jaipur today to further progress the agreement.

Caleb Radford is a senior writer with The Lead, South Australia

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