The number of flight training schools has decreased in the Asia-Pacific region over the past two years as the industry consolidates. But growing demand for pilots is leading to an overall increase in the training fleet, according to Asian Sky Group’s (ASG) second edition of the Asia Pacific Training School Report.
The ASG report, released last week, provides an overview of training schools and fleets across the region and a perspective on how countries are equipped to handle the growing aviation workforce shortage, ASG said.
Throughout the region, the number of schools declined from 351 in 2016 to 338 this year. “The decrease in schools can be attributed to the expansion of larger flight schools, which have acquired several smaller players in the industry,” according to the ASG report.
At the same time, the number of fixed-wing aircraft used in training has grown from 2,908 in 2016 to 3,057 this year. Correspondingly, the helicopter training fleet jumped from 599 to 680 over the past two years.
Australia remains the largest and most mature market with 103 schools, even if the nation experienced a drop of 16 schools, or 13 percent, over the past two years. It also saw the biggest fixed-wing training fleet increase from 866 in 2016 to 948 this year. China experienced the largest increase in helicopter trainers from 169 to 215.
Malaysia, down one flight school during the two-year period, experienced the largest fixed-wing fleet decline of 17, while India is down one training helicopter.
Of the 338 training facilities throughout the region, only 32 provide for both fixed- and rotary-wing training. The remainder either train for one or the other. The Cessna 172 is the most commonly used trainer, accounting for 35 percent of the fleet, the report said. The Robinson R44, meanwhile, makes up 26 percent of the helicopter training fleet.
“The second edition of the Asia Pacific Training School Report comes at a time when forecasts estimate the Asia-Pacific region to lead the worldwide growth in demand for pilots, mechanics and cabin crew,” said Asian Sky Group Managing Director, Jeffrey Lowe. “This publication, once again, demonstrates the capacity the region has for aviation personnel while offering a clear indication of the steps that need to be taken in order to meet the growing demand.”