The authorised centre, funded by the Saudi National Company of Aviation (SNCA), with CAE providing all the training elements, started up in 2018 for cadet training to individuals with no flying experience who wanted to become airline pilots.
The aviation academy, operating from the Dammam International Airport, is the first of its kind in the kingdom, to train both men and women of Saudi and non-Saudi origin.
“I don’t think it is recognised in the region but there is a shortage of pilots, and certainly there is a huge pilot demand worldwide,” said Captain Larry Wade, chief executive officer. “Welcoming female pilots is also something we are proud to do, and we want to bring our quality of training to Saudi Arabia in line with the country’s 2030 vision.”
The academy sponsors the qualifying course on A320 aircraft, which is presented through a full-motion flight simulator.
Its fleet is made up of Diamond DA40 NG and Diamond DA42 aircraft.
What also makes the academy special is that its training leads into an employment programme for three years that enables graduates to gain career opportunities as flight instructors after completing their CPL course, which is approved under GACAR 141.
The company has quickly expanded with facilities now in Jeddah and Riyadh, and is also looking to open schools in other parts of the world.
At the air show it is also highlighting its new helicopter training course, with two Robinson R44s being delivered next year.
“Our vison is is to bring the best training providers in aviation to the kingdom,” said Wade. “We are also expanding with ground handling training, as well as operations management training and ticket agent training."
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