Wanna be an Airbus pilot?

I DID become one… a captain at that. Ror just a few minutes, on a simulated flight. My first officer, Yas, however, already made sure I was whoozy through his zig-zagging on the simulated runway, while taxiing for takeoff.

Just as we were gaining altitude, Philippine Academy for Aviation Training (Paat) training director, veteran pilot Captain Ronaldo Mendoza, decided to make things livelier.

“Clouds!!!!” I panicked as Mendoza added thunder and rain to go with them.

Zero viz, and whoozy. Perfect.

Whooziness aside, it was fun, and Yas marked flying a plane as one headed for his bucket list. I am content with being the captain in a simulated Airbus 320 flight; I’d kick the bucket and still wouldn’t mind if I die without flying another time.

But, seriously, there is a big future for pilots – commercial pilots, specifically for Airbus and Boeing.

Paat general manager Raoul Perez said that it is projected that in Asia-Pacific alone there is a projected Airbus aircraft delivery of close to 10,000 between 2012-2031 or a period of just 19 years.

This converts to a need for 185,600 pilots in Asia Pacific alone for the same period.

“In order to fly these planes, you need to be pilots trained to fly the Airbus,” Perez said in a briefing with journalists at the Paat at the Clark Freeport Zone.

“It’s the best time to be a pilot,” he added.

The Asia-Pacific will be accounting for 40 percent of the total projected number of pilots for the period, with Europe at far second projected to be needing 22 percent of the total 460,000-pilot demand projection.

Paat is a joint venture between the Cebu Pacific Air and CAE, a global leader in aviation training.

The training academy was inaugurated just last December 2012, and is presently training its first batch, including six trainees from different countries in Europe.

Initially, Paat will be catering to Airbus 319/320/321 series pilot type-rating training requirements.

While Paat will primarily be to support Cebu Pacific’s “growing fleet and future expansion plans,” Perez explained, it was also set up “to capture the fast growing regional third party training requirements for commercial aviation in the Philippines.”

Meaning, students are not required to apply with Cebu Pacific.

CAE is known worldwide for its simulation and modeling technologies and integrated training solutions for commercial and business aviation as well as defense.

It is in 30 countries worldwide in 100 sites.

“CAE offers civil aviation, military, and helicopter training services in more than 45 locations worldwide and trains approximately 100,000 crewmembers yearly,” Perez’s presentation read.

Perez added that Paat instructors are trained and accredited by no less than Airbus.
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