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First Grade Aviation Academy On Way

First Grade Aviation Academy On Way
From left: Fiji Airways Managing Director and chief executive officer Andre Viljoen, Attorney-General and Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Boeing 737 Fleet manager Captain Anthony Browne, Fiji Airways board chairman Rajesh Punja and Brendan Long from simulator supplier CAE at the ground breaking ceremony for the Fiji Aviation Academy in Namaka, Nadi, on December 8, 2017. Photo: DEPTFO News
December 08
10:20 2017

A new state-of-the-art Fiji Aviation Academy will be opened in Namaka, Nadi in early 2019.

The ground breaking ceremony in Namaka was held yesterday.

Fiji Airways Managing Director/chief executive officer Andre Viljoen said this was an opportune time to begin the construction of the academy as Fiji is developing fast.

The facility, which is to cost around USD $45million (FJ$93.16) to build, is envisioned to cater for the training of pilots locally and in the Pacific region.

The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who officiated at the event, said Government was committed to this project as it would help ensure Fiji’s place as the hub of the Pacific.

“This of course has been a vision of Government to create centres of excellence within Fiji and to be able to take advantage of our hub status both geographical and as a developed state within the Pacific context.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said with the Fiji Maritime Academy already established in Suva, in about 18 months time the Fiji Aviation Academy will be constructed.

He said this also goes towards thinking laterally, thinking outside the box and also being able to understand that “if we in Fiji are to progress ecomomically, to ensure that we have sustainability of jobs, to be able to create more jobs we need to be part and parcel of a simple perspective, the value chain”.

What the academy means?

He noted that we simply cannot just run an airline and have pilots and expect those pilots to be trained somewhere else because we’re dependent on third parties to actually provide the training.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said having the academy would mean Fijian pilots training right here in Nadi and not having to depend on other training providers.

“By investing in this particular academy we will be able to ensure that we not only provide the services to our people, develop Fijian pilots who can actually be trained in Fiji, do not have to go offshore.”

Therefore, he said Fiji Airways will have the supply of certified internationally trained pilots in Fiji.

He also noted that they need to take advantage of the fact that Fiji will offer this service to other Pacific Islands countries, Australia and New Zealand and other countries that may want to send their pilots for training over here.

Namaka upgrade

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that along with the new academy structure are plans to further upgrade Namaka as a product of value that offers a particular point of difference.

“We are putting in various infrastructures in Nadi. The airport is being upgraded.”

There’s a four lane road that has been built. He said it was not built simply because people wanted a four lane road, there’s actually an economic analysis behind it.

“We are competitively priced in terms of the properties we offer, in terms of the rates we offer, labour rates, and therefore it makes Fiji an attractive proposition.

“We need to ensure that we all work together as partners. It’s not just the responsibility of Fiji Airways.

“It’s for everyone that’s involved in the aviation industry, in the tourism sector, the hotels etc to be able to come together to ensure that we offer Fiji as a product.”

Feedback:  lusiana.banuve@fijisun.com.fj

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"I support it 200 percent, I am with FRU, the country and the people of Fiji. We want to bid to get one of the HSBC stops in Fiji."
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December 2017
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