The market for fixed-wing pilots in India started getting saturated since 2008 onwards. There are 8000+ active licensed pilots for the fixed wing in India and about 45% of these are un-employed or temporarily employed. The situation worsened in 2012-13, when Kingfisher Airlines closed its operations. The Pilot: Airplane ratio currently for fixed wing is about 9:1.
On the contrary, the market for Helicopter Pilots tells a different story. There are just about 700 active Helicopter Pilots in the country. The ratio of helicopter pilots per helicopter in the country is just 2.4:1. Secondly, the industry is over dependent on retired helicopter pilots who are soon attaining the age of 65, after which they will not be allowed to carry out commercial & single pilot operations. Therefore there is already a shortage of Helicopter Pilots in the Indian Aviation Industry.THE HELICOPTER INDUSTRY & FUTURE POTENTIAL
Worldwide, there are 35000+ helicopters in operation. India counts just 285 helicopters, which is about 0.81% of the world's fleet.
Medivac, Law Enforcement, Tourism & Training segment of the world’s helicopter industry, contribute 36% of the helicopters. These segments of the helicopter industry are almost non-existent currently in India. Presently, majority of the commercial helicopters available in India are being used for corporate business and off-shore operations.
Owing to the fact that a helicopter offers immense flexibility of operations and can also be deployed quickly for strategic requirements & to deal with emergency situations, the need for helicopter cannot be denied in the Indian context. Ministry of Civil Aviation’s strategy for Civil Aviation sector in the next five years includes providing impetus for growth of helicopter industry. It has been emphasized that a rapid development of helicopter operation must be ensured by inducting at least 200-300 more helicopters by 2020. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) & National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have also raised requirements of helicopters.
It is therefore established that the upside potential remains huge for the helicopter industry.
Mesco Aerospace is gearing up to establish and operate a world class Helicopter Training Academy along with a Type Rating Training Organization (TRTO).