Ethiopian to Inaugurate Aviation Academy

Ethiopian Airlines is going to inaugurate the expansion project it undertook on its aviation academy at a cost of USD 55 million. The airline has built multipurpose buildings that will be used for classrooms, dormitories, library, IT center and cafeterias at the premise of the headquarters of the airline. The aviation academy trains pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians, cabin crew and marketing professionals.

Due to the ever-increasing demand for its basic and recurrent training programs from domestic and international customers, the Ethiopian Aviation Academy is currently undergoing massive transformation by heavily investing in equiping itself with modern training aircraft, computer-based trainings, simulators, and other ultra-modern facilities.

Samuel Assefa, vice president of the Ethiopian Aviation Academy, told The Reporter that the airline has invested USD 55 million to expand the aviation academy. Samuel said the aviation academy enrollment capacity had grown by 400 percent to 1,000 trainees per year. The academy wants to further increase this fourfold by 2025. The aviation academy expansion project will be inaugurated next month.

The fast growth of the airline and the brain drain issue prompted the airline to heavily invest in its aviation academy. Ethiopian CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam told The Reporter that human resource development is one of the pillars of the Vision 2025, the airline’s 15 development road map. “As the airline grows we need more professionals, more pilots, technicians, cabin crew and marketing professionals. We are investing in the aviation academy. We have increased the intake. In 2010 the intake capacity of the academy was 200 students per year. Today it has an intake capacity of 1,000. We are training 1,000 professionals a year. That shows that we are employing 1,000 people a year. The airline is creating jobs for more than 1,000 Ethiopian men and women. We are introducing new technologies like the multi-crew pilot license training program,” Tewolde said. The year 1956 marked the coming into existence of the aviation training department of Ethiopian Airlines with the objective of providing the airline with required skilled aviation personnel. It is this seed of the training department that has transformed itself into what is now Ethiopian Aviation Academy (EAA).

Ethiopian said since its inception, the Academy has proved to be a center of excellence developing skilled workforce for operational divisions of not only Ethiopian Airlines but also the wider African aviation industry.

“Driven by the Airlines’ commitment for self-sufficiency and meeting the growing demands for its training from customers around the world, the Academy has continuously expanded both in capacity and staffing over the years,” the airline said. Attributed to this expansion is the current size and training provision capacity of the academy encompassing six independently running aviation training schools catering to both local and international aviation training needs. The Academy consists of Cabin Crew Training School, Marketing and Ground Operations Training School, Pilot Training School, Technical Recurrent Training School, Aviation Maintenance Technician School and leadership. Ethiopian is one of the few African airlines that has its own aviation academy.

In a related news, the management of Ethiopian and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) are planning to merge their aviation training centers. ECAA’s aviation training center was established in 1951 with the help of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The center trains air traffic controllers and other aviation professionals. During a recent visit to Ethiopia, ICAO’s secretary general Raymond Benjamin proposed the merger of Ethiopian Aviation Academy and ECAA’s training center to the management of Ethiopian. Tewolde said that a decision has been made at higher level but there are detailed technical issues that should be addressed.

Source : The Reporter

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