Potential new aviation academy in the Caribbean

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by Cdr. Bud Slabbaert

Airways Aviation Group, headquartered in Dubai UAE is considering establishing an academy in the Caribbean. The Group is a world leader in aviation education & training.

It is estimated that annually 300 professionals from the Caribbean region and Latin America would be trained at the Academy in this region. Worldwide, there is a shortage of pilots, air traffic controllers and other aviation professionals. There is an estimated pilot shortage of 11,000 in 2024, which could increase to 60,000 globally by 2032 if mitigating actions are not taken. As for air traffic controllers there is a shortage of roughly 4,000 in Europe and the USA alone.

Related to the establishment of an Academy is the prospect for developing new sustainable ‘education tourism’. After all, the participants of the training semesters and workshops need accommodations to stay overnight, transportation, and they need to buy their groceries, etc. It is not season depending. It contributes to economy diversification.

An interesting example may the Academy’s operations on the island Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Annually there are 170 students attending who are visiting from various countries. Each student contributes about US$ 20,000 to the local economy. The Cyprus government has confirmed a US$ 3.5 million contribution to their economy in 2023. Assume what the 300 student potential for the Caribbean could mean.

Typically, pilots in the Caribbean are sent twice annually to recurrent safety abroad. This training may entail sending an entire flight department consisting of captains and first officers as well as civil aviation Inspectors to ensure training is relevant and complete. Once classroom training is completed the pilots are put to test in a simulator to ensure that the crew is able to handle and rectify any potential issue.

The Airways Aviation Group will be looking for an appropriate airport location in the Caribbean from which their training aircraft will operate. Facilities including classrooms as well as a room for a flight simulator will be needed. For the traffic controllers training access to a control tower would be necessary and possibly an air traffic control simulator.

An international aviation academy on location may be an inspiration for young people. They may be encouraged to explore educational opportunities in the aviation industry which can have a significant impact on their future careers and subsequently a high-income level.  The volume of recruitment by the industry for aviation professionals is unprecedented. Therefore, students after having received their training have an abundance of employment and career choices available to them not only regionally but also internationally.

 Airways Aviation is the largest privately owned group of academies delivering professional aviation education and training. It has training facilities in Dubai UAE, Montpellier France, Bremen Germany, Sicily Italy, Istanbul Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon, Gold Coast Australia, Dakar Senegal, and Hyderabad India.

Airways Aviation has a fleet of more than 70 aircraft and 10 flight simulators. They have trained 9,000+ commercial airline pilots and 26,000+ Cabin, Ground, & Maintenance Graduates. Their training programs meet all international standards including certified EASA, CASA, ICAO, IATA and CAAC facilities deliver ATPLs, CPLs, Bachelor’s Degrees, Diplomas, Certificate Courses and Training Programs at the most advanced levels. They match practical and theoretical techniques that are designed to accommodate the increasing global demand for Airline Pilots, Military Pilots, Cabin Crew, Ground Handlers, Aircraft Maintenance Technicians and University-qualified Administrators and Managers.