The potential for business in Asia seems boundless. But the distances between the
population and the commercial centers are considerable, and the ground infrastructure
is either woefully inadequate or physically impossible because the two are separated by
oceans. One part of the solution, of course, is the airplane. Another part of the solution
Several Asian carriers have been sending us pilot candidates with wonderful attributes -
self-discipline, intelligence, strong motivation and fine aptitude - but with no practical
aviation experience. By the time we return them, they are knowledgeable, skilled commercial
pilots with solid experience in high-performance aircraft and high-stress environments.
But I think an even more telling demonstration of FlightSafety's role in this new age can
be seen in Kunming, a south China city of some two million residents. Kunming is probably
best known to Westerners as the base for Flying Tiger operations during the early part of
World War II. To the Chinese, however, Kunming is more notable as an important and growing
center for trade and transportation. In early 1995 FlightSafety committed to develop a
facility at Kunming International Airport for training airline pilots and flight attendants.
The original agreement called for building a training center equipped with a Boeing 737 and
a 757/767 simulator and for erecting a twelve-story hotel for crew lodging.