x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

With new academy, Emirates Airline pilots will soon be trained on home soil

Emirates Airline is planning a Dh400 million flight training centre for Dubai World Central Airport.

Emirates Airline plans to open a Dh400 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 its UAE national cadet pilots in Dubai for the first time, the airline said yesterday.

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, according to the airline's 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 have noted that 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.

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 on Sunday announced an $18 billion order for 50 Boeing 777 aircraft, the biggest civil order in the US plane maker's history.

rbundhun@thenational.ae

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