By Beatrice Thomas
Recent study claimed region will need 20,000 pilots during the next 10 years to keep pace with growth
An aviation academy is to be set up in Riyadh at a cost of SR1bil ($267m), it was reported.
The Riyadh-based Infinity Support Services and Flight Safety International Company signed an agreement for the construction of the academy on Monday, according to a report by Arab News.
Khalid Al Khaibary, official spokesperson of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), told the newspaper that the academy would be run by the private sector.
GACA has given official approval for this academy, which would benefit a large number of Saudi and Arab youths who are interested in joining the aviation industry, he said.
The institute, which will specialise in the field of aviation, will be built on an area of 50,000 square metres.
Obaid Al Mozainy, CEO of Infinity Support Services, said that the region would need 20,000 pilots during the next 10 years based on recent studies.
“The growing demand for 2,000 pilots a year underlines the need for technically qualified people in the aviation sector,” he said.
He said the new academy would attempt to fulfill these needs by training people across all sections of the aviation industry.
The programs will be designed to international standards and the facility would have state-of-the art equipment for various training disciplines.
Al Mozainy said that the academy was the only one of its kind in the Kingdom and would offer a high-tech blend of the latest aircraft and simulation tools to ensure students and navigators received the best training.
Meanwhile, the Arab News reported that the GACA has signed an agreement with the Alpha Star Aviation Services to set up a private aviation center in Riyadh.
The facility is to be built on an area of 40,000sqm as part of GACA’s program to encourage the participation of the private sector.