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Oman Business News

Oman Aviation Academy to break ground in Suhar

Oman Aviation Academy (OAA), the nation’s first aviation training institution, is preparing to shortly break ground on its campus within Suhar Airport, according to a key official associated with the venture. Dr Dhafir Awadh al Shanfari, CEO of the Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (OAPFD), which has spearheaded the launch of the academy as part of its expanding portfolio of offset projects, said the prestigious institution is already functional with multiple batches of aspiring pilots currently undergoing foundation training. “Three batches of cadets are going through the foundation programme at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), while we break ground on the buildings and facilities in Suhar very soon,” said Dr Al Shanfari.

Speaking to the Observer, the official said the Academy - a joint venture involving Airbus Helicopter, Oman National Investments Development Company SAOC (TANMIA), Al Hosn Investment Company and Ministry of Defence Pension Fund – will make a significant contribution to aviation training in the Sultanate. Besides, it will also increase In-Country Value and local content development in the Suhar area. “We have a 10-year agreement with Oman Air, for example, where their cadets will be EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) licensed pilots. They will be trained in Suhar, so money will be spent locally, thereby contributing to local development and job creation. Moreover, the academy will make it attractive for other cadets from abroad to come to Oman.”

The Aviation Academy is proposed to be a fully integrated campus featuring classrooms equipped with state of the art aviation training technology. The facility will also exploit its location within Suhar Airport to provide real-time training conditions for the cadets. Canada’s CAE, a leading training services provider for the global civil aviation industry, is a strategic partner in the development of the Academy in Suhar. Last April, the Montreal-based organization signed a service level agreement with OAPFD to support the creation and establishment of OAA within Suhar Airport.

Under terms of the pact, CAE will provide operating services to the Academy, leveraging its own established international standards for aviation training. CAE will also provide key elements required for world-class ab initio pilot training, including curriculum and courseware as well as safety management and quality control systems. As a CAE Authorised Training Centre, the Suhar facility will train and supply pilots for both the civil and military sectors in Oman and the surrounding region. The OAA also aspires to become an Approved Training Organization (ATO) by the Public Authority for Civil Aviation of Oman (PACA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Adding to the Academy’s prestige is the presence of Airbus Helicopter as a 10 per cent equity partner in the venture, says Dr Al Shanfari. “Oman Aviation Academy is amongst a few academies in the world with an Airbus equity. It’s also EASA approved — that’s the result of really strong partnerships and commitment from Airbus, being a supplier, to give something back and work with Oman to develop such an institution,” he noted.
  • Oman Aviation Academy
  • Suhar Airport
  • Aviation Training Institute
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