20 October 2017

Ethiopia: Pan-African Aviation Academy Producing Competent Personnel

Photo: Ethiopian Herald
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam awarding trainees.

Apart from meeting the domestic demand for competent aviation personnel, the Ethiopian Aviation Academy (EAA) has been contributing immensely to the development of African aviation industry.

The Academy has positioned itself as a center of excellence in the aviation industry by producing efficient operational divisions to both Ethiopian and many other airlines of African countries.

Of late, 34 trainees drawn from Cameroonian, Rwandese, Equatorial Guinean, Togolese, and Congolese airline service providers have completed their trainings at the Academy. The good reputations of Ethiopian as well as the Academy are the main reasons for the trainees to carry out their studies with EAA, say various officials.

The number of African and other countries' trainees is also on the increase.

Cameroonian Ambassador to Ethiopia Jacques-Alfred NDOUMBE-EBOULE [as he exactly writes his name.] supports the assertion. He says: "The track records of the pan-African airline, Ethiopian, and the EAA have made us to send our trainees to the institution."

In fact, there are other academics engaged in training aviation workforce, he indicates, underscoring the fact that the Academy has world-class and more comprehensive training packages.

African counties will no more send trainees to academies abroad, he strongly believes. "We have common goals, building world-class aviation human capital through own institutions."

ENGR JOSHUA PAUL [as he exactly writes his name.], a trainee from Nigeria, builds on the Ambassador's view saying: "I had been enrolled in the Academy following the decision of my company, Presidential Air Fleet Abuja Nigeria. The wealth of experience, Ethiopia has secured over the past decades, is the main reason for the company for making the decision.

He further says he has learnt that Ethiopian has won best Airlines Staff Service in Africa Award for two rounds -- in 2013 and 2016. It has also won African Airline of the Year 2017 Award, he adds.

[Most recently, Ethiopian has won Topped Industry and Customer Choice Awards as the Rising Star Carrier of the Year at the Payload Asia Awards 2017, as a press release sent to the newsroom shows.]

The various awards Ethiopian has received are the result of the rigorous training backed by state-of-the-art equipment and aviation professionals, JOSHUA notes.

The commitment of the leadership of the Academy is also impressive. I feel home throughout my stay at the Academy. No doubt, the Academy puts its positive impacts on the African aviation industry.

For his part, Equatorial Guinea Embassy Secretary Jose Cruz indicates that the aviation industry is growing fast. And African airlines have to catch up with the modern aviation technology and services to meet the demands of both domestic and international customers.

To this end, the Ethiopian aviation industry is a role model in equipping Africans with modern aviation skills and competencies, he stresses.

The Academy has been working beyond meeting own demand. It has also been filling the gaps in the aviation human capital development of Africa--with the capacity to train 2,000 aviation professional per annum. "This makes the Academy play a constructive role in the African aviation industry," he noted.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam points out as human-resource development is one of the four pillars of Vision 2025 of the airline--a 15-year strategic plan aimed at making the Airline Group the leading one in Africa.

The Academy also envisages beefing up the intake capacity to 4,000 by 2025, the CEO explains.

One of the EAA missions is to further the integration of the people of Africa, he says, stressing that the standard aviation training the Academy offers will enable its attainment.

Also, Tewolde builds on TJOSHUA's argument. The Airline is a multi-award winning one which has registered 25 percent growth on average over the past seven years.

These achievements explain the quality of the trainings, he hints.

"We are registering remarkable achievement with regards to meeting the domestic human capital demands as well as other partner airlines is the region. Besides, we are one of the leading Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service providers in Africa," he indicates.

EAA Managing Director Solomon Debebe says the Academy will keep on hosting trainees from African countries.

The quality of facilities and human capital has made the Academy to be International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Regional Training Center of Excellence in 2016 as well as ICAO Trainer Plus full Member in 2015. Besides, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has authorized the training center. "It surely impacts on the transformation of the African aviation industry."

He enumerates that the Academy graduated 50 pilots, 66 aviation maintenance technicians, 120 cabin crew and 26 equipment and facility maintenance technicians--10 majoring in industrial mechanics and 16 in industrial electricity on October 7, 2017. Of which, 34 of them come from various African countries.

EAA graduates over 12,000 trainees in its six decades of its existence offering more comprehensive basic and recurrent training packages to the aviation industry, he indicates. It produces competent and ethical pilots, cabin crew and technicians. This is not to mention the commercial and leadership trainings it offers, he adds.

"We are proud to have positive contributions to the growth and modernization of the African aviation industry by providing skilled human resources over the decades," he notes.

The Airline is willing to assist any African country that wishes to develop its aviation sector, particularly in setting up a national carrier through partnership, he vows.

The standard trainings of EAA as well as its efficient management has helped Ethiopian to make a record high net profit of 273 million USD in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

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