13 February 2018

Nigeria: Why We Train Our Pilots - Dana Air

Dana Air has explained that it prefers to train its pilots because those brought up from their school seem to have a great deal of experiences on the job.

Dana Air director of flight operations, Capt. Segun Omole made this known recently during the decoration of two of its captains and three First Officers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos. Emphasizing that Dana Air prefers to train its own pilot, Omole said "what we do is to bring in the new graduates in our flying school because we can actually mold them into our culture.

"When we bring them from other airlines, there is always this culture clash. But when we bring them as First Officers, they seem to have more experiences flying" Omole said. During the event, two captains: Capt. Kalu Sylvester and Ibrahim Kazeem were decorated while three First Officers were Ilesanmi Ayodele, Afolabi Damilola and Lawal Wahab.

They were all decorated at the MMA2 conference centre by Capt. Omole and the accountable manager/chief operating officer of Dana Air, Mr. Obi Mbanuzuo. Speaking further, after the decoration, Capt. Omole said that Dana Air believes in the transfer of management into the hands of Nigerians, stressing that they had earlier employed foreigners because they were already trained on the aircraft they have.

Noting that, there were only two captains when he joined Dana Air, Omole pointed out that the percentage of Nigerians working for Dana Air has risen from 20 per cent to 90 per cent over the years. Omole who said that Dana Air has trained about 27 Nigerian pilots in 2017 alone stated that "we have continued to train Nigerian pilots' year-in-year-out. I congratulate the new pilots and I charge you to maintain the safety records Dana is known for."

Apart from male pilots, Omole said that Dana Air is also open to employing female pilots, stressing that females are more intellectual, more manageable and that they always abide by the rules. "Female pilots are more manageable and you have less problems from them. They are not very many in the market but the ones we had were very well trained but they have joined other airlines", he said.

The DFO said that most of their pilots are trained in the International Aviation College, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) while others come from South Africa and USA. He however, made it clear that pilot training doesn't end because they need to go for proficiency checks every 6 months to be able to fly the plane legally and safely.

In his response and speaking on behalf of the pilots, Capt. Sylvester Kalu thanked Dana Air for the robust training they have acquired, saying "we are happy because it is not an achievement that comes overnight. We promise to deliver while we rely on the management of Dana Air at all times. We express sincere gratitude to the management and we promise that we will keep the airspace safe."

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