Home Uncategorized NCAT to acquire 20 Diamond aircraft worth over $367million for pilot training

NCAT to acquire 20 Diamond aircraft worth over $367million for pilot training

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……working on addressing aging workforce
……. to build hostels under PPP arrangement

The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Zaria, is billed to take delivery of four Diamond DA40 and 42 aircraft for pilots training this year.

This is just as the college has received approval for the renovation of the existing hostels in the school as part of efforts in upgrading facilities in the college.

The college is to acquire 20 Diamond 42(DA42] and 40 (DA40] aircraft. According to investigation DA40 is sold for $420,000 DA-40XLT (2013 price) while DA42 Twin Star US$522,750.

DA40 Aircraft

Speaking with aviation reporters in his office, the rector Captain Abdulsalaam Mohammed said currently the college had 8 serviceable aircraft for pilots training and additional training aircraft have been acquired to cater for the upsurge of students in the area piloting.

NCAT Rector, Capt. Abdulsalaam Mohammed

He said the college in 2015 got the approval of the government to acquire 20 Diamond aircraft; five of which were the two engines DA42 and 15 Assembly engine DA 40 aircraft.

“When I assumed office in 2017, we took delivery of one DA 42 aircraft in the April of 2017 the college placed orders for additional aircraft, but we were informed by the contractors that the Diamond Aircraft Company was bought over by another company and that new owner decided to relocate the production place from Austria to Canada and they told us that they won’t be able to produce another aircraft until nine to 10 months, which is when the assembly line would have been completely relocated’’.

According to him, the company was now up and running and very soon it would take delivery of the four DA 40 aircraft before the end of 2019 and when delivered, the college would have one DA 42 and five DA40, adding that they had also received an additional DA 40 aircraft that was given to the college by an insurance company as part of an insurance settlement.

“As of today, we have eight aircraft that are serviceable. These aircraft are not the same; we have the basic, advance and two engines ones. So, depending on the stage of training of students, some of the aircraft that are serviceable may not be useful o students for instance who are starting afresh that need the basic and less complex aircraft and then they advance to more complex aircraft, with more instrument flying, before they now go into the multi-engine aircraft’’.

“Sometimes, when you start with the new students, the multi-engine aircraft is actually parked and not doing anything until the students reach that time where they can now start multi-engine training. During that period, we use that for our instructors to maintain their proficiency. We encourage them to fly such aircraft”.

On the number of pilots and engineers trained on an annual basis, the NCAT Rector said it takes about two years on the average to train a pilot and engineer and on an annual basis graduates these types of trainees.

“By ICAO standards, there is a limit to the number of students we can have in a class, but for management and other courses, we are allowed to have huge number of students in a class. For a typical pilot class, we limit the number to 20 in a class. Same thing applies to engineers. Sometimes, in a year, we have three engineering courses staggered, starting at different period, but they can’t be more than 20 in a class, I cannot readily give you the figures of pilots we have graduated in the past five years, but we graduate pilots regularly”.

On aging workforce in aviation industry, he explained that ICAO recognized this and that was why it had come up with a new set of aviation professionals called ENDGAP programme and NCAT had signed up to this and have been attending all the ENDGAP summits since it started.

“At the local level, we have a team that is responsible for this. The team goes out and reaches out to secondary school students with the aim of catching them young. As ICAO and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said, there is going to be severe shortage of pilots in coming years based on the aircraft orders and the ageing workforce. So, there is a need for us to start early and that is why we are starting it at the secondary school level. We have teams that go out for career talks in secondary school and later this year, we intend to have an open day, which will be dedicated to secondary school students and they will be opened to a lot of opportunities in the sector”.

On hostel facilities, Capt. Mohammed said N300 million had been approved by the Federal Government to renovate the existing hostels as the facilities were in a near dilapidated state.

“We are doing this in phases; right now, we have about 95 per cent of our hostels occupied. So, if you are going to remove one block for renovation, it’s going to affect our student population. So, we are doing it in phases. It is a project that is funded by the government; this is a project that is to renovate existing hostels”. He disclosed that arrangements have been concluded to build more hostels for both males and females to accommodate more students in the college under the Public, Private sector Partnership.
“We also had approval to build 100 bed male hostels and 150 bed female hostels. We have had proposal on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) on this to build hostels in the college, but we are still in talks with the company that is bringing the proposal because it is unsolicited”.

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