According to IATA’s latest 20-year Air Passenger Forecast, Asia Pacific will be the biggest driver of demand in aviation until 2035, with more than half of new passenger traffic coming from the region. How does pilot training in the continent compare? Can it keep up with demand?
Let’s first take a look at the Philippines. Training schools tend to be cheaper here compared to surrounding areas but are much harder to complete. In other countries, you may need just 250 hours of pilot flight training to qualify for the licence, but here, aviation schools won’t let you fly an aircraft until you have more than 1,500 hours.
There are several options to learn in the Philippines, including the All Asia Aviation Academy, located just 10 minutes from Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Budding pilots in this area are spoilt for choice as the Asian Institute of Aviation (AIA) is equally as close to the airport. The capital city of the Philippines, Manila, is one of the oldest cities in the world and is well regarded for shopping, national parks and museums.
In Sri Lanka, the AAC Flight Academy is based at the largest hanger at Ratmalana Airport, just within the perimeter of Colombo. As Sri Lanka’s largest city, Colombo has varying architecture that spans centuries and includes many styles. Fans of cricket will be impressed by the large number of sporting facilities in the area!
Moving to Malaysia, Asia Pacific Flight Training (APFT) is located within the perimeter of Sultan Ismail Petra Airport. Here, the school is equipped with the most technically advanced navigation aids and – apart from the monsoon season – enjoys the best flying weather in Malaysia. If you’re a bit of an adventurer, wreck diving is becoming popular in the region and the wreck of Awazisan Maru can be found off the coast of Pantai Sabak in Kota Bharu.
If you are looking for luxury, head to Singapore. High-end carrier Singapore Airlines’ main hub, Singapore Changi Airport is considered one of the best in the world. The city has several flying schools including FlightSchool.sg, SG Aviation Training and Singapore Flying College. Foodies will be at home in the city with its street food markets and restaurants – dining is said to be the national pastime here!
Over the coming months, we will be continuing this series by exploring Europe, Africa and the Americas to see what each continent has to offer for pilots-to-be!