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26 Jul 2017

Oman Aviation Academy courses start by year-end

The Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD) and the various shareholders have signed the agreement for the Oman Aviation Academy (OAA) in Muscat on Wednesday.

The signing ceremony was held under the patronage of Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Authority HE Dr Ali Bin Masoud Al Sunaidy.

The first phase of the academy will open in the last quarter of this year.

Dr Dhafir Bin Awadh Marai Al Shanfari, OAPFD CEO, Ben Bridge, Airbus Helicopters Executive Vice-President Global Business, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saif Al Saadi, CEO of Tanmia; Osama Mariam, CEO of Al Hosn Investment, and Captain Said Bin Mohammed Al Ismaili, Assistant General Manager of the Ministry of Defence Pension Fund signed the deal.

HE Mohammed Bin Nasser Al Rasbi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence, Shura Council members, the ambassadors of Qatar, France and the UK attended the ceremony.

Al Sunaidy highlighted the importance of this new project. “This important agreement reflects the strategic partnership between the Sultanate and shareholders companies and will play a huge role in supplying the local aviation sector with pilots either in civil or military sector,” he said.

OAA is one of the OAPFD projects in partnership with Airbus Helicopters, Oman National Investments Development Company (Tanmia), Al Hosn Investment Company and the Ministry of Defence Pension Fund.

It is considered to be the first aviation training company to be established in Oman and will be based in Sohar Airport and operated by CAE Oxford, a civil and defence aviation training company with 160 training sites in more than 35 countries around the world.

OAA will provide training for national and regional cadres to obtain an EASA aviation licence (ATPL), which enables them to be pilots in regional and international airlines.

The authority has signed a cooperation agreement with Sultan Qaboos University, and in October, the first group of students will begin a special foundation course developed by SQU.

The OAA project will help in the development of the national economy through the growth of the local aviation sector and training of skilled graduate pilots as well as its future role in meeting the needs of the Mideast for aviation professionals, which is estimated at being more than 30,000 pilots over the next 20 years.

The academy is expected to attract more than 80 trainees each academic year from both local and regional pilots and will also play a pivotal role in enhancing the operational role of Sohar Airport by attracting foreign investments and providing around 50 new direct jobs.

OAA will be built with an area of 4,000sqm with a capacity of 150 trainees. It will include an area of 3,000sqm of Aircraft Hangar, an area of 4,000sqm for the student housing, tower and a taxi way.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, the OAA also signed a training agreement with Oman Air. OAA will provide the training required for 48 pilots annually from Oman Air instead of sending them abroad for flight training.

Al Shanfari said, “We are pleased to sign these agreements between various stakeholders to move the Oman Aviation Academy to an advanced stage. The Academy will play an important role in attracting trainees from abroad.”

Al Saadi said: “This partnership confirms Tanmia’s commitment to harnessing its capabilities towards the Blessed Renaissance which was established by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.”

“The Academy will play a key social role within the country to contribute to the Omanisation plan as part of the Oman’s government vision 2020,” said Mariam.

Paul Gregorowitsch, Oman Air CEO, said: “Oman Air will greatly benefit through training the cadets in its facility based at Oman Air’s headquarters in Muscat, ensuring Omanisation requirements.”

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