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Aviation Academy Set To Become Popular Landmark

The Fiji Aviation Academy, set up by Fiji Airways, and now taking shape in Nama­ka, will be a popular landmark in Nadi. It will be the focal point for many
30 Apr 2019 16:09
Aviation Academy Set To Become Popular Landmark
An artist’s impression of The Fiji Aviation Academy being set up by Fiji Airways at Namaka, Nadi.

The Fiji Aviation Academy, set up by Fiji Airways, and now taking shape in Nama­ka, will be a popular landmark in Nadi.

It will be the focal point for many people, from the young to the el­derly, fascinated with aircraft and aviation.

More importantly the two new simulators will provide excellent training for pilots, engineers, flight attendants and other airline work­ers in Fiji, the region and beyond.

The academy will be a first for the Pacific.

Paul Doherty, an experienced pilot and the chief operating officer for Fiji Airways, said they were excit­ed about the US$45 million invest­ment. Before he joined Fiji Airways in 2017, he was operations manager for Virgin Australia.

He said the academy would sus­tain itself and generate a bit of business on the side.

“The investment will pay back very fast,” he said.

He said Fiji Airways would save millions of dollars, between $6 mil­lion and $10 million a year, by not sending pilots overseas for train­ing.

He said the two simulators would cost more than US$20 million.

Mr Doherty said Fiji Airways had more than 250 pilots but the two simulators could potentially train 1000 pilots a year.

“Our focus is that our crew are trained to the highest standards,” he said.

He said passengers would feel comfortable that Fiji Airways would take them to the destinations they wanted to go to.

Paul Doherty.

Paul Doherty.

Twin Otter

“We look at Twin Otter turbo props going to the islands. There are a lot of these planes in the is­lands. They don’t have anybody to do the sort of training we do here,” Mr Doherty said.

He said aviation people were ask­ing if we have training available here.

He said when the academy con­struction was finished the Euro­pean Aero Space Agency would cer­tify it. He said after that Australia and New Zealand would rubber stamp it.

He said local people would be de­veloped to run the academy.

Mr Doherty said in a couple of years 2000 people would be arriv­ing here in the morning and 2000 in the afternoon carried by Fiji Air­ways. He said the other day the air­line did 1400 and needed two more flights to reach 2000.

Schools

He said the academy would be open to the public, particularly school tours

They would like to get more from the younger generation to visit the academy.

“They may want to be pilots, flight attendants or engineers,” he said.

“There is so much information we can put together for them.”

The academy project manager Mohammed Shafeel, of Houng Lee Kaba Jacobs, said the construction should be completed by November.

Front from left: Site engineer Ramil Bilan, project manager Mohammed Shafeel and project executive John Bent with workers at the Fiji Aviation Academy construction site at Namaka, Nadi on April 29, 2019. Photos: Nemani Delaibatiki

Front from left: Site engineer Ramil Bilan, project manager Mohammed Shafeel and project executive John Bent with workers at the Fiji Aviation Academy construction site at Namaka, Nadi on April 29, 2019. Photos: Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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