The Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State, says it will acquire five new modern light aircraft in 2018.
The NCAT’s Rector, Captain Mohammed Abdulsalam disclosed this on Wednesday at the on-going International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) World Aviation Forum (IWAF) in Abuja.
He said that the move would enable the college to assert its position as the foremost civil aviation institute in Africa.
Abdulsalam said that the institution was building on the recent recognition by the ICAO as a Regional Training Centre of Excellence (RTCE) after a rigorous audit that took 11 years.
According to him, sustaining the RTCE status requires improving and modernizing learning and accommodation facilities at the institution to the ICAO standards.
“This year we had wanted to bring in additional aircraft.
“We decided we wanted the single-engine DA aircraft but the manufacturer told us that they were relocating their factory from Austria to Canada and they will not be able to start producing for at least six or seven months.
“Based on that, we decided that we will not bring in any aircraft this year but next year we will make provision to bring in a larger number so that we can start phasing out the older aircraft.
“So we are looking at a minimum of five aircraft and if it is possible we can even go for 10,” he said.
Abdulsalam stated that NCAT had made about 70 percent payment for a Boeing 737 simulator already built in Canada to be moved to the college.
“Very soon, we will have the simulator installed in Zaria and when we do that; we will be offering B737 type rating.
“We will also be offering recurrent training for pilots which is a huge drain on the foreign exchange of the airlines and the country.
“As you know, their pilots have to go for recurrent training every six months and we hope to capture that market and start having that training in Zaria,” he assured.
He stressed that the college had made provisions to accommodate three more simulators to meet the need of its students.
The rector decried issue of unemployed young pilots in the country.
“As you know we have about 300 unemployed young pilots in the market. Our young pilots actually need to get involved in general aviation.
Abdulsalam added that the practice worldwide is that when one graduate from a flying school such as NCAT, with 250 to 300 hours of light aircraft, it’s advisable for the young pilot to go into general aviation.
– Sammie Idika I VON