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Aviation academy targets African students

Posted 6 April 2018 · Add Comment

Egyptian Aviation Academy is looking to target African and Middle Eastern student pilots and engineers, according to its chairman and CEO, Captain Elias Sadek. Marcelle Nethersole reports.

Established in 1931, the Egyptian Aviation Academy is located at the 6th of October Airport in Giza. It is Egypt’s oldest aviation academy.
It consists of three faculties – Misr Flying College, the Air Traffic Control College, and the Civil Aviation Management Training College.
The academy has the recognition and the approval of the Ministry of Civil Aviation of Egypt for all of its colleges as a regional training centre in Africa and the Middle East. It was the first academy to get such approval.
Its Misr Flying College gives student pilots a ‘unique’ advantage by offering a jet rating licence upon graduation.
“For a small sum of money, students will get the jet rating licence upon graduation, which will serve as a transition for pilots from light aircraft to large commercial aircraft – and we are the only company in the world to do this,” explained Captain Elias Sadek, chairman and CEO.
The college offers 38 training capabilities of different aircraft types on its young and advanced fleet.
“We offer training on the Cessna 172 G1000, which is the most modern with a glass cockpit, so when they transition to the real aircraft it is exactly the same,” said Sadek.
The fleet also include Bonanzas – it received two new ones in November – as well as two Baron multi-engine aircraft, and four Cessna Mustang C510s.
The company also has seven modern flight simulators.
Sadek has been CEO of Egyptian Aviation Academy for 18 months but he still manages to fly for EgyptAir once a month on a B777 to maintain his licence.
He is also an instructor and examiner, and last April was elected a member of the TRAINAIR PLUS steering committee (TPSC) in Addis Ababa. This is the body that is connected to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is responsible for the upgrade and development of all courses.
“As a full TRAINAIR PLUS member, the Egyptian Aviation Academy is applying right now to become a centre of excellence – the final accolade,” said Sadek.
The CEO wants to reach out to other Arabic countries and, especially, to the African market.
“I am targeting having 75% non-Egyptian students in the next few years – mainly from African and Arab countries,” said Sadek.
“We currently have Egyptian students, as well as other Middle East students from countries including Yemen, Kuwait, and Iraq. Our African students are from Nigeria, Tanzania and Sudan.”
He added: “We would like to serve as a place where African pilot and engineer students can come for high-quality training. We have competitive prices but we have lowered the margin of profits to help attract both Africa and the Arab world.”
Sadek believes there is a “deep shortage” of pilots and aviation engineers in many of these targeted countries.
“Iraq has ordered about 70 Airbus and Boeing Aircraft, so they have a pilot and engineer shortage. Our academy is perfect for them and, actually, we already have Iraqi engineers training.”
Sadek said the company has many things of which to be proud.
“We have a department that graduates aircraft maintenance engineers and I am delighted that, for the first time, the class that joined in October last year will graduate with an ICAO license carrying a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) endorsement.
“We have a lot female students from all over the world. One female pilot that trained at the Egyptian Aviation Academy is Naveen Darwish, now captain of an Emirates A380.”
The academy also offers aero medical examiner certificate training – allowing graduates to have the licence to examine pilots and flight crew, and it will soon start a new field, in hot-air balloon training for pilots and engineers.
“We have about 28 companies working in the south of Egypt, so we are starting pilot and engineer training for this in 2018,” said Sadek. “A hot-air balloon pilot training course takes six months. It is quite complex – but we can do complex.”
 

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