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Published on : Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The Gulf Aviation Training Event (GATE), one of the Dubai Airshow’s events-within-a-mega-event, took off for a two-day run today at Dubai World Central under the theme ‘Breaking Paradigms: Training the Gulf’s New Generation of Aviators’ and quickly heard how crisis loomed over the sector.
Urgent action is needed to resolve the lack of qualified, commercial aviation pilots, delegates at the Dubai Airshow heard today.
Captain Ed Davidson, GATE Summit Director and former Gulf-based Emirates Airline executive, said: “We are running out of the capabilities to fix this issue before we are in a dire situation.
“If we look at the latest numbers – following on from the announcements by Etihad, flydubai and Emirates Airline yesterday regarding buying hundreds of aircraft, and opening new routes, we face an extreme challenge. We need to find 460,000 pilots over the next 20 years, but the biggest number of people ever recruited into the industry annually was just 14,000.”
Capt. Ed Davidson identified three barriers to recruitment: where to find the manpower; the high cost of training a pilot – US$100,000 – and how to train pilots so they are comfortable with automation and technology.
Two organisations present at the GATE summit – CTC Aviation and Emirates Airline – have long identified the increased demand for pilots – and the subsequent industry repercussions – so have set about developing solutions.
Emirates is in the final stages of completing a Cadet Pilot Academy at the new Al Maktoum World Central Airport, Jebel Ali, Dubai.
Captain Alan Stealey, Executive Vice President, Flight Operations for Emirates said: “The new Emirates Pilot Academy is in the heart of the Gulf’s expansion. “Emirates is committed to producing a growing portion of our pilot need internally as we recognise that the increasingly competitive pilot marketplace over the next ten years is significantly under-supplied.”
CTC Aviation Group Limited, one of the world’s largest providers of Cadet Pilots to the air transport industry, a GATE gold sponsor and exhibitor – is strongly focussed on future pilot recruitment and training; with plans to open new training facilities in the near future.
Captain Rob Clarke, CEO, CTC Aviation, said: “We are seeing increasing demand for cadets joining our hugely popular CTC Wings training programme. With graduates being placed directly onto jet equipment with our partner airlines we are seeing a year-on-year growth which requires us to double our capacity over the next few years.”
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian investment company Infinity unveiled plans at the Dubai Airshow, which runs at Dubai World Central until Thursday evening (November 21), to establish a new US$267million Aviation Academy in Riyadh.
The 50,000m2 academy will be designed by FlightSafety International, including state-of-the-art full flight simulators and other advanced technology training devices.
GATE – the Middle East’s dedicated training event for the aviation industry, has brought together senior air transport industry executives, regulators and operators, to discuss the impact of the pilot shortage on current selection methods and training. The forum is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and CEO of Emirates.
Delegates wishing to participate in GATE 2013 will also have access to the full five days of the Dubai Airshow – registration is still open at the Dubai Airshow box office with one day rates available.
The Dubai Airshow is organised under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in co-operation with Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports, Dubai World Central and the UAE Armed Forces.