MUSCAT: The Oman Aviation Academy (OAA) shareholders agreement ceremony was held today in Grand Hyatt Muscat. OAA is one of The Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD) projects which the Authority oversees, in partnership with Airbus Helicopters, Oman National Investments Development Company (TANMIA), Al-Hosn Investment Company and the Ministry of Defence Pension Fund. The signing of the agreement was held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Authority. The ceremony was attended by HE Mohammed bin Nasser Al-Rasby, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense, Shura Council members and their Excellencies, the Ambassadors of the State of Qatar and the Republic of France and the United Kingdom.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Dhafir bin Awadh Marai Al Shanfari, OAPFD CEO; Mr. Ben Bridge, Airbus Helicopters Executive Vice President Global Business; Sheikh Rashid Bin Saif Al Saadi, CEO of TANMIA; Mr. Osama Mariam, CEO of Al-Hosn Investment; and Captain Said bin Mohammed Al Ismaili, Assistant General Manager of the Ministry of Defence Pension Fund.
The Oman Aviation Academy is one of the Partnership for Development (PFD) Programme projects, and is considered to be the first aviation training company to be established in Oman, in cooperation with Airbus Helicopters. Moreover, the Academy will be based in Sohar Airport and operated by CAE Oxford, a leading civil and defence aviation training company with approximately 160 training sites in more than 35 countries around the world.
OAA will provide aviation training for national and regional cadres with the aim of them obtaining an EASA aviation license (ATPL), which enables them to be pilots in regional and international airlines.
The first phase of the Academy will kick off in the last quarter of this year. The Authority has signed a cooperation agreement with Sultan Qaboos University and in October, the first group of students will begin a special foundation course developed by SQU for OAA students. The Oman Aviation Academy project will play an important role in the development of the Sultanate’s national economy through the development of the local aviation sector and training of highly skilled graduated pilot as well as its future role in meeting the needs of the Middle East for aviation professionals which is estimated at being more than 30,000 pilots over the next 20 years. The Academy is expected to attract more than 80 trainees each academic year from both local and regional pilots. CAE will also play an important role in marketing the Academy both regionally and globally through its global aviation training network.
The Academy will also play an important role in enhancing the operational role of Sohar Airport, attracting foreign investments and providing around 50 new direct jobs.
OAA will be built with an area of 4000 square meters with a capacity of 150 trainees. It will include an area of 3000 square meters of Aircraft Hangar, an area of 4000 square meters for the student housing, tower and a taxi way.
The construction works will begin in the last quarter of 2017. The Academy will be equipped with the latest specifications and standards and will be equipped with nine single engine piston aircraft and four twin-engine aircraft for flight training and simulators.
Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Authority, expressed the importance of this new project and how it is the first of its kind in the Sultanate. “This important agreement reflected the strategic partnership between the Sultanate and Shareholders companies and it will play role in supplying the local aviation sector with pilots either in civil or military sector.
He added, “The Oman Aviation Academy is an educational training platform that will contribute to promoting the education sector through the development of a new training curriculum. We hope that through this project, the Sultanate will be the first destination for neighbouring and regional countries to benefit from the training and educational services in the field of aviation sector.”
In the margins of the ceremony, the Oman Aviation Academy, signed a training agreement with Oman Air. OAA will provide the training required for 48 pilots annually from Oman Air instead of sending them abroad for flight training.
Dr. Dhafir bin Awadh Mari Al Shanfari welcomed the signing of the agreements which a chives one of the Partnership for Development programme objectives to create new investment partnerships with the world’s leading companies. “We are pleased to sign these agreements and this strategic partnership between various stakeholders to move the Oman Aviation Academy to an advanced stage. This is a good occasion which coincides with the Sultanate’s celebrations of the blessed Renaissance. We are delighted to be working with Airbus Helicopters and this is final project as part of the current offset/PFD commitment and we hope to build on this project in future obligations. The Academy will play an important role in attracting trainees from abroad, especially from neighbouring countries.” He added: “We thank all the participating companies and agencies supporting the Academy, the Royal Air Force of Oman, Oman Air, Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA), Oman Airports Management Company, Sultan Qaboos University, and Ministry of Manpower for their trust in the Oman Aviation Academy, which represents a successful cooperation and strategic partnership between government local investors and international institutions”
Shaikh Rashid bin Saif Al Saadi, CEO of TANMIA, expressed his pleasure on the completion of an important milestone in the incorporation of Oman Aviation Academy evidencing the strategic partnership with the Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD). “This partnership confirms TANMIA’s commitment to harnessing its capabilities towards the Blessed Renaissance which was established by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said indicating that this partnership is in line with the company’s principles to enter into strategic investments in various sectors that generate dynamic benefits for the Omani economy and viable returns to shareholders.”
“This strategic partnership with the offset fund is set to setup Oman’s first Aviation Academy. The diversity of the partnership that enhances the collaborations between the government and the private sector to achieve the economy diversification into education and training. The Academy will play a key social role within the country to contribute to the Omanisation plan as part of the Oman’s government vision 2020. It will support the aviation business development in Oman by preparing the next generation of local flight instructors and competent airline pilots. Being in Sohar with the current flight expansion from Salam Air and Qatar airways will further enhance the business prospects and the growth of the academy.” Commented Osama Mariam, CEO – Al Hosn Investment company (A joint venture between the government Oman & Qatar)
Paul Gregorowitsch, Chief Executive Officer, Oman Air welcomed the training agreement with Oman Aviation Academy stating “Oman Air is delighted to sign this agreement with The Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD). Under this arrangement, the first group of Omani cadets jointly sponsored by the Oman Aviation Academy and Oman Air, will receive training under the cadet-pilot programme to obtain a CPL (Commercial Pilot Licence) /IR (Integrated Rating) with frozen ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence). Oman Air will greatly benefit through training the cadets in its state-of-the-art facility based at Oman Air’s headquarters in Muscat, ensuring efficient Omanisation requirements. The national carrier synergises seamlessly with OAPFD that strives to enhance the Partnership for Development Programme to achieve comprehensive and sustainable economic development in the Sultanate.”
OAPFD is currently studying new and strategic projects that will contribute to the development and diversification of national economy. Biz Today Monitoring