The reintegration component of the Presidential Amnesty Programme has been further bolstered with the graduation of seven new pilots at the Fujairah Aviation Academy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon. (Dr.) Kingsley Kuku, while decorating the seven delegates with their Commercial Pilot Licenses (CPLs) at a colourful event in Fujairah, said given the ongoing sweeping reforms in the Nigerian aviation sector, job prospects were now brighter for the new pilots.
“We have done our bit. The mandate of my office is to give you first-class training and to ensure you secure globally acceptable pilot certifications. We have achieved this mandate with the full support of our dear President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
“However, I wish to assure you that after your jet/type-rating programme, you will not have problems securing gainful employment in Nigeria given the sweeping reforms currently going on in the nation’s aviation sector,” Kuku said.
The PAP chairman noted that Nigeria’s aviation sector ranks among the fastest growing in the world.
The cadets had earlier earned the Private Pilot License (PPL), having successfully passed ground courses and flight operation techniques prior to attainment of their CPLs. The courses include Meteorology, Navigation, Air Law, Flight Planning, Instruments, Radio Aids, Aircraft Technology and Human Performance.
The FAA Director of Training, Captain Anthony Soloman, lauded the Nigerian cadets as one of the best sets to pass through the flight school.
“All of them were exceptional. In pilot training, usually the initial stages can be very tough but this set of cadets surprised us. They are very fast learners and are always eager to learn. They truly made our work easy even when we put them under lots of pressure,” Captain Soloman said.
He explained that given the quality of the new pilots, the academy was eagerly looking forward to putting them through its aircraft type-rating programme as directed by the PAP chairman.
Thirty-seven (37) CPL holders have so far been produced under the aviation training component of the programme, with 30 of them who graduated earlier in the year currently undergoing jet/type-rating training in two renowned aviation schools – Lufthansa Pilot Training Institute in Germany and the CAE Oxford in the United Kingdom.
A total of 176 delegates have been deployed to four countries across Africa, Middle East and Europe for Pilot and Aviation Maintenance Engineering training.