Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Chairman of the Saudi Space Commission and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Aviation Academy, launched in Rabigh Wednesday the first International Aviation Academy (Tayaran) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
During his speech at the opening ceremony, Prince Sultan said that the Academy was established to qualify the national cadres in accordance with the highest international standards in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia future goals, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
“The Academy also aims to strengthen the economy of the country and support it with national cadres in the aviation industry,” he added.
Tayaran’s General Manager, Capt. Mohammed Al-Subaiei, said the Academy would support 1,650 trainees annually, including 1,200 in aircraft maintenance and 450 pilots, making it the largest center of its kind in the Middle East. There are also programs to sponsor talented students unable to fund themselves, Arab News reported.
“We have 35 male sponsored students. We accept sponsored applicants who pass our admission tests regardless of their gender,” he said, adding that Tayaran would eventually open its doors to international students.
“In three years, the academy will accept students from around the world. Such an ambitious project will initially begin with around 5 percent of the total number of applicants.”
He added that Tayaran would also conduct courses at their center in Al-Thumamah from September 2019, focusing on piloting aircraft and operating drones.
“As a science, aviation is a sophisticated field of study, not only for the safety and security conditions it demands, but also for the high cost of the training equipment it requires to ensure the best educational outcomes. Students can finish their maintenance program in 36 months.”
Al-Subaiei said the Kingdom’s expanding civil and military aviation sectors would need about 8,800 pilots and 11,700 technicians over the next seven years.
“The academy is committed to utilizing the best technologies and teaching internationally accredited programs to prepare its members to become pioneers,” he said. “The academy will provide job opportunities for young people who, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said, are our foremost resource.”
The International Air Transport Association expects airline passenger demand to double over the next two decades, requiring up to 460,000 new commercial pilots by 2031. A Boeing outlook report published in 2012 indicated that 601,000 new commercial technicians and engineers would also be needed. Meanwhile, the Emirates Flight Training Academy (EFTA), the world-class flight training facility developed by Emirates Airlines, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tarayan to share their expertise and jointly promote their training programs and facilities.
Signed in Riyadh, the MoU was agreed by EFTA Vice President Capt. Abdulla Al-Hammadi and Al-Subaiei, in the presence of Prince Sultan and the governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar.
This collaboration reflects the shared interests between the two academies and the strong bond between the Kingdom and the UAE.
“The EFTA is very pleased to partner with Tayaran. This collaboration will help develop the talent pool supporting the future growth of the aviation industry in our region,” Al-Hammadi said.
He added that he looked forward to working closely with Al-Subaiei to provide expertise and share technology, as well as to create a platform for a mutually beneficial exchange program between the two sides.