Pratt & Whitney Urges for Skill Development in Aviation Sector

By Editor 30-Jan-2018

Pratt & Whitney recognizes the India’s world-class engineering and technical capabilities as well as market opportunities it offers. As a company that is deeply embedded in India, we firmly support the ‘Make in India’ campaign that translates the government’s vision of making India a global manufacturing hub. India is one of the most important strategic markets for Pratt & Whitney, and we continue to build on our long-standing partnership with the country. We believe that ‘Make in India’ will only be successful if Skill India succeeds. Skill development will be a cornerstone of aviation growth. Our partnership with local governments and universities aims at facilitating the growth of an aviation ecosystem in India by helping in creation of an industry-ready talent pool through a number of skill development programs and initiatives, says Palash Roy Chowdhury, Managing Director - India, Pratt & Whitney. Mr. Chowdhury speaks to Aeromag about the company’s business operations in India.

Pratt & Whitney’s association with India started over seven decades ago. Could you mention the latest addition to the list of products and services the company supplied to India?

Pratt & Whitney has been aggressively focusing on India, some of the latest additions to our services in India are:

  • Customer Training Centre, Hyderabad – Received certification of its training centre by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in April 2017 to provide DGCA CAR147-approved training to aircraft engineers and technicians from Pratt & Whitney’s airline customers in the region.
  • EngineWise service brand - Services designed to provide more predictive and responsive solutions to customers.
  • PW1100G, the newly stationed Geared Turbofan engine at the training center -  designed to meet the aggressive emissions requirements and to run a higher level of cooling technology.
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) signed a Fleet Management™ Program (FMP®) maintenance contract with IndiGo for PW127M to power the airline’s new fleet of ATR72-600 aircraft serving regional routes in India

With 20 years of research and development; component rig testing on all major modules; extensive ground and flight testing underway; two certified engines in the family; and the PW1100G-JM carrying passengers on a daily basis; the Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan™ engine delivers game-changing reductions in fuel burn, environmental emissions, engine noise and operating costs.

In passenger service, the certified PW1100G-JM engine for Airbus A320neo family of aircraft, and the PW1500G engine for the Bombardier C Series, with operators across the globe since January 2016, are meeting promised performance targets around fuel efficiency, noise footprint reduction and lower NOx emissions. The PW1400G-JM engine for the Irkut MC-21 aircraft, the PW1200G engine for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the PW1900G for the Embraer E190-E2 are also certified.

The Government of India is actively promoting the ‘Make in India’ programme. How do you view the initiative? How is Pratt & Whitney cooperating with it?

Pratt & Whitney recognizes the country’s world-class engineering and technical capabilities as well as market opportunities it offers. As a company that is deeply embedded in India, we firmly support the ‘Make in India’ campaign that translates the government’s vision of making India a global manufacturing hub. India is one of the most important strategic markets for Pratt & Whitney, and we continue to build on our long-standing partnership with the country.

Pratt & Whitney sources engineering and design services from a number of Indian companies, for some of its most advanced aerospace products. There are more than 1,000 engineers in India working on global projects for Pratt & Whitney. We have established a chair and a centre of excellence at the renowned Indian Institute of Sciences (IISC) focusing on high-end research in the area of turbo machinery.

Pratt & Whitney has a significant presence in India, especially with the customer training centre that opened in 2015. As the industry grows, there will be a demand for more engines, and the market will expand. But more importantly, we take a bigger interest to help the industry prosper and grow, because we believe in the importance of the aviation sector to global trade, knowledge sharing and skill development. In India, with an increase in disposable income, flying has become affordable. And because of that, the demand for single-aisle aircraft has grown exponentially.

Pratt & Whitney has collaborated with local governments and universities to help cultivate prospects that will fill a very large aviation job pool. Most recently, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with YMCA University of Science and Technology, Faridabad, to provide aerospace and aviation skill development programs for the students. This partnership aims at facilitating the growth of an aviation ecosystem in India by helping in creation of an industry ready talent pool through a number of skill development programs and initiatives.

We believe that ‘Make in India’ will only be successful if Skill India succeeds. Skill development will be a cornerstone of aviation growth. Private OEMs such as Pratt & Whitney is playing a significant role in this area. The company has invested in a world class training center in Hyderabad. The certification means that the training center is now fully approved to offer DGCA-approved training sessions on V2500-A5 engines. It is expected to soon offer courses on PW1100G-JM and other models from the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) family of engines. This Pratt & Whitney training centre, established to addresses the shortage of a skilled work force in India’s aviation industry, is only the third such Pratt & Whitney facility in the world. 

Could you list some of the biggest commercial engine orders executed by Pratt & Whitney in India?

In October 2017, IndiGo, signed a 10-year engine maintenance contract for its ATR planes with Pratt & Whitney Canada. IndiGo has chosen ATR72-600 aircraft flying on regional routes in India, which will be powered in PW127M engines. The 10-year contract will be applicable from the date of each engine’s entry into service and can be extended thereafter. The maintenance plan will provide customized support to meet the airline’s technical and commercial need. Spicejet also recently, announced purchase of 50, 90-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop, powered by PW150A engines.

We have been very successful in the single aisle and turboprop segments and continue to be bullish.

Pratt & Whitney is engaged in the design, development and manufacture of military engines and auxiliary power units also. Could you mention some of the company’s major engagements in India in this regard?

Today, Pratt & Whitney Canada has 60,000 in-service engines operated by 12,300 customers in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Its engine families span across general aviation, regional turboprops, business aviation, civil helicopters and auxiliary power units (APUs), and total an impressive 730 million flight hours logged.

Pratt & Whitney is unifying its aftermarket service portfolio through EngineWise™, the branded suite of aftermarket services, and will introduce new offerings to support customers’ evolving needs.

Some of our marquee military engines include:

  • C-17 Globemaster
  • Pilatus PC7 basic trainers       

Recently, there were some issues regarding the PW1100G engine that powers some Airbus A320neo aircraft of IndiGo and GoAir. Your views on the matter?

As we have communicated previously, the durability of the engine’s entry-into-service configuration is being improved, and we have increased the number of spare engines to minimize impact on our customers. 

Since March 2017, new engines and overhauled engines have incorporated improvements that have enhanced the engine’s durability. We have increased spare engine deliveries as well as overhauled engine returns with this improved design, which has stabilized the current fleet.

The Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engine employs advanced technology and has been in operation for more than one year. It has nearly 500,000 hours of passenger service and is utilized by 21 operators flying more than 250 flights per day to over 100 destinations on four continents.