Wednesday, 13 December 2017

NCAT Rector Speaks on Job Creation for Pilots

The improvement of general aviation will create employments for some of the over 300 jobless pilots, Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Captain Abdulsalami Mohammed has said.NCAT Rector Speaks on Job Creation for Pilots

General aviation is the operation of private and business flies by people and associations not engaged in scheduled flights.

Mohammed, who spoke in Abuja, asked young pilots to start their career with light planes until the point that they obtain understanding, urging them to begin with general aviation as it is the ideal training ground.

As per administrative requirement, pilots for general aviation require around 250 flight hours to operate such aircraft.

The NCAT rector said pilots expected to keep traveling to accumulate enough experience to empower them wind up plainly employable by commercial airlines..

He, in any case, noted that training pilots is a tremendous weight on airlines, particularly the same number of them leave for greener pastures later.

His words: "This is the issue the ministry and carrier administrators are talking about; it is getting government's consideration, yet NCAT can't get involved in seeking jobs for its graduates. We are a training institution. We can train people, we can give references when you complete, yet we cannot get involved in getting jobs for our graduates.

“Some of them go into general aviation and fly light and medium aircraft to gain experience before they eventually qualify to go for Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), before they can join commercial airlines. This is the practice in the United States and elsewhere,” he said.

He continued:“Unfortunately for us, every pilot that comes out wants to fly big jets; it is more glamorous to fly passenger jets, but the airlines cannot absorb everybody. If you recall, when Virgin Nigeria was set up in 2005, virtually every pilot in Nigeria applied to Virgin Nigeria. I was one of them and Virgin Nigeria was able to pick whoever they wanted and retrained them completely regardless of the background.”

He said a few years after Virgin Nigeria, Arik came on board and employed some pilots that couldn’t secure jobs in Virgin Nigeria.

Mohammed said more airlines came on board and that was when the industry started recovering including the rapid development of Arik with over 30 aircraft at a time, mopping up experienced pilots that had been in the industry.

The situation, he said, forced other airlines to look elsewhere and that was when they started employing the young inexperienced pilots and began training them.

He, however, warned on the cost of training a fresher from the college on a jet, explaining that pilots are trained through trial by fire and that it would be a humongous mistake to train a young pilot with an aircraft having hundreds of passengers.

“But when you now have 100 sometimes 300 passengers sitting in the back and you have someone in training, you don’t want him to make mistakes; otherwise those passengers may never fly with that airline again. So, it is not the ideal training environment. So, you find that the training takes too long and it is expensive and at the end of the day the airline says ‘this man is not trainable’ and they stop training – that is why a lot of airlines are reluctant to start bringing people.”

Mohammed also said the planned establishment of a national carrier would also help create employment due to migration of the experienced pilots creating openings in their present positions for young pilots.

“The creation of a national carrier will also create employment opportunities for these young men. I am not saying that the national carrier will employ all of them immediately, but you find out that a lot of our experienced pilots – when the national carrier is coming, they will leave where they are and try to join the carrier, thereby leaving openings for these young people.”


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