Nigeria’s start-up airline, Green Africa Airways, plans to train 1,440 technical personnel in the next 10 years to bridge the dearth of manpower in the industry.
The airline disclosed this at the launch of an initiative called ‘g-Future’, saying the first set of people to benefit from the initiative are pilots, engineers, cabin crew and flight dispatchers, among others.
The founder of Green Africa Airways, Babawande Afolabi, said in the next 10 years, over 200 pilots would have been trained, 500 cabin crew, 140 flight dispatchers, 100 engineers and about 500 other professionals.
“When we say other professionals, some people think of our training programme for pilots and engineers but there is a whole lot more within the aviation business – you have network planning, aviation and aircraft financing.
“Currently we have commenced training of the technical personnel. We have our first eight-second officers starting their training in Zaria at the beginning of March.
“We have 14 cabin crew members going through ab initio training and we will be selecting 10 technicians in the next six months,” he said.
Babawande explained that a bond would be signed but negotiated if the personnel decided to leave, adding that the airline would not want to enslave anyone.
Although he did not mention the cost implication of the training, Babawande explained that a lot of money will be put into the initiative, stating that it costs roughly 10,000 to 40,000 dollars respectively to train a pilot and a flight dispatcher.
“The training is going to be expensive. However, we are taking it one step at a time. We also hope that over time, other parties will see the success of this programme and be a part of it: the banking industry, relevant government agencies, aircraft manufacturers and other organisations, will see the potential in this and join hands with us to push the goal further,” he added.
The Director, Airworthiness Standards of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Mr Kayode Ajiboye, said the agency is elated to know that many pilots, maintenance engineers and other technical personnel who perhaps have been trained and waiting to be employed for years are being taken off the unemployment market.