Emirates Airline plans to open a AED400 million (US$108.8m) flight training academy at Dubai World Central Airport as the carrier strives to meet its demands for pilots.
The centre will have the capacity to train up to 400 students at a time. Emirates will establish its own flight training organisation, enabling it to train UAE nationals as cadet pilots in Dubai for the first time, the airline said Wednesday.
UAE nationals who embark on the Emirates four-year national cadet pilot programme currently have to spend a year-and-a-half doing flight training in Spain, the airline said on its website.
“Emirates has a strong relationship with our current cadet training providers, however, we feel the time is right to introduce our own cadet pilot training facility,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates.
“As well as training our own UAE national cadets, the academy will have the capacity to train a large number of ab initio [beginning] pilots from other carriers and will set the benchmark for training excellence in the region.”
Industry insiders noted Middle East airlines face a significant challenge as they aim to recruit thousands of pilots over the coming years to operate their burgeoning fleets.
“The aviation industry is growing at a phenomenal rate and a critical element in this growth is trained pilots,” said Sheikh Ahmed.
Emirates expects to start building the centre in the first quarter of next year, with the aim of completing it in the third quarter of the following year.
“The aviation industry is facing an unprecedented challenge,” William Voss, President and CEO of the US-based Flight Safety Foundation, said in a keynote address at the Gulf Aviation Training Event conference at the Dubai Airshow.
“We have upgraded technologies while neglecting the development of the people who need to use them. That leaves us in a very tough position as we struggle to develop a massive new generation of aviation,” he added.
Emirates said it was working closely with industry leaders to ensure the facility has state-of-the-art equipment and trainers, in order to meet worldwide aviation training best practice.
It is worth noting that Emirates Flight Training Academy will incorporate its own Flight Training Organization (FTO) which will permit the carrier to train its UAE national pilots in Dubai.
Mubadala Aerospace, through its subsidiary Horizon Flight Academy, this week announced plans to establish an advanced flight training facility in the capital in a joint venture with Abu Dhabi Aviation. The centre is designed to serve global commercial and defence customers.
Emirates announced Sunday an $18 billion order for 50 Boeing 777 aircraft, the biggest civilian order in the US plane maker’s history.
Sources: thenational, gulfnews, menafn