(INTO THE LIGHT. Bhanu Choudhrie (left), founder and director of C&C Alpha Group, leads AAG chair Cherian Thomas, Asia Pacific regional director Christopher Magdangal, Tourism Undersecretary Edwin Enrile, BPI Century Tokyo Lease and Finance Corp. VP-COO Homer Aniceto, DOTr transport security administrator Raul del Rosario in unveiling the AAG simulator training center. Photo by Bong Lacson)
CLARK FREEPORT –An $11-million simulator training center expansion project housing four additional simulator bays, including a brand-new Airbus A320 full flight simulator version 2.0, were inaugurated by the Alpha Aviation Group (AAG) here on Friday.
Bhanu Choudhrie, founder and director of C&C Alpha Group, noted that there is a growing demand for commercial pilots “that is why we are committed to an ambitious expansion plan to ensure world-class facilities where as many cadets can learn to fly and the industry demand can be met.”
In his welcome remarks at the event, Choudhrie also said “the APAC (Asia-Pacific) airline industry is growing at a remarkable rate with APAC predicted to have 3.9 billion passengers by 2037.”
He said, “greater demand means more planes and more planes require more commercial pilots – 645,000 more worldwide by 2038, with a third of those required across APAC.”
Choudhrie said AAG was established 13 years ago and has trained over 900 pilots from over 40 countries.
He said in an industry in which just three percent of the world’s pilots are women, AAG has been up to about 20 percent female cadets.
He recalled that having established the company with just one simulator, “today we proudly launched our sixth,” the most of any pilot training provider in the Philippines.
“But success isn’t just about the numbers, it about supporting the whole economy,” he said.“It is about developing local talents to benefit regional airlines and industries. And it is about empowering young people by unlocking life-changing opportunities.”
“This I believe is the true marker of a growing success,” Choudhrie said.
Choudhrie said the brand-new flight simulator will become an invaluable asset for the more than 300 students currently enrolled at AAG and those that will follow.
“It will enable them to train to the highest standards and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the regional airline industry,” he added as he also expressed his gratitude to AAG’s airline partners Philippine Airlines, PAL Express, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, Air Arabia, Pan Pacific, Royal Air, SEAir and VietJet.
He also thanked AAG’s financing partners BPI, BDO, RCBC and Maybank and strategic partners the Philippine government, the diplomatic community, the private sector, the media and the academe.
Present during the unveiling of the new facilities were AAG chair Cherian Thomas, Asia Pacific regional director Christopher Magdangal, Department of Tourism Undersecretary for Legal and Special Concerns Edwin Enrile, BPI Century Tokyo Lease and Finance Corporation vice president and chief operating officer Homer Aniceto and Department of Transportation Transport Security Administrator Raul del Rosario.