India’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will be evaluating the Dhruv helicopter simulator cockpit during the last week of April.

Currently being integrated at the Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (Hatsoff) facility in Bengaluru, the Dhruv simulator was designed and built at CAE’s facility in Montreal.

Wing Cdr. (ret.) C.D. Upadhyay, Hatsoff CEO, tells Aviation Week that the DGCA team will be qualifying the Dhruv simulator to the Level-D category. “There has been a good response for the Dhruv simulator considering it is the first one in the world,” Upadhyay says. “We have had discussions with Pawan Hans [Helicopters Limited], and they are keen to train their pilots on the Dhruv conventional simulator.”

Pawan Hans pilots currently fly the civil variant of the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter, owned by India’s Oil and Natural Gas Commission and Border Security Force, which were among the first few customers of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.’s Dhruv civil variant.

“We are also having discussions with the Indian air force in June, while the coast guard too might be interested in training their pilots [at Hatsoff],” Upadhyay says. “The Ecuador government also wants to send their pilots.”

Hatsoff began its operations with a Bell 412 simulator in July 2010 and so far has trained more than 80 Bell pilots. The facility hopes to have its Dauphin 365 N3 simulator cockpit by the middle of November.

“Once the Dauphin cockpit is in place, we hope to have Pawan Hans pilots from India and others from abroad joining Hatsoff,” a source says. “The Dauphin population is massive in African and South East Asian countries.”

The Dhruv military variant cockpit simulator is expected to be installed by 2012.