THE Rector, Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Captain Abdulsalami Mohammed has listed some of the benefits it would accrue by attaining International Civil Aviation Organisation Regional Training Centre (ICAO RTCE) stating that the school now has capacity to train and develop training packages for all its participants.Captain Mohammed made this known to a handful of reporters shortly after receiving International Civil Aviation Organisation Regional Training Centre (ICAO RTCE) from the world civil aviation body where he said the new status would enable it generate revenue for the college.
The Rector of the College however said that the School is gradually embarking on a re-fleeting scheme as its piston powered aircraft uses Avgas which is difficult to come by and expensive to procure.
Mohammed, while speaking on how it came around to attaining its new status said,”One of the requirements before you are granted that international status by ICAO, you need to meet certain criteria. This journey was started by NCAT 11years ago when we became members of the TrainAir Plus, before you become a member of TrainAir Plus there are also criteria you need to meet which included access end of training facilities and personnel. ”
“The global aviation office sent auditors from ICAO to Zaria to come and access, they came with their checklist and of course typically there were some gaps and we were given time within which to close these gaps, and we were reassessed and it was determined that we met the requirement to be a member of the TrainAir.”
“The next level was the change in nomenclature now it’s called TrainAir Plus and also that requirement was for the institution to develop a standard training package which we did in 2013 and in 2015 we started the process of getting this RTC status and that required a lot of things, including and not limited to developing extra training packages, at the time NCAT signified interest to go for the RTC, that was when the criteria was changed, now they needed the applicant to develop a minimum of three standard training packages and we had to do that and then train an internal validated and for that training of an internal validator we had to develop another standard training package. So with that, NCAT was able to satisfy the requirement of being awarded RTC Status. ”
He further posited that the college has the capacity to handle the influx of candidates that it expects.
He said, “To answer your question, yes we have the capacity, we have the plans to increase that capacity because by being an RTC opens a lot of opportunities for NCAT there will be a lot of training at NCAT and it will improve the requirement that we need to keep this status. ”
“We have to keep increasing or improving on our facilities and one of the things we need to meet this criteria is to modernise our classrooms. If you go to our classrooms you will see that there are modernised and standardised to meet ICAO requirement complete with projectors and interactive boards. What we need to do in anticipation for the increased demands for courses is yo build more classrooms, office accommodation and hostel accommodation and all this in anticipation of our approval and we made allowances for in our 2017-18 budget and we are fully ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of this new status that NCAT has.”
On the College’s reflecting plan, Captain Mohammed said they the aim is to replace them with Diamond 40 and 42 aircraft which use jet A1 .
He is the anchor person with ICAO and the person who coordinated what we have achieved. One of the conditions of attaining the Regional Training Centre of Excellence is to have an internal value and he is the only internal validated we have at NCAT.
“Availability and cost of Avgas has been a challenge for any operator of piston engine aircraft, that was why the decision was taken by NCAT management long before I came to replace our Tampico aircraft that use Avgas to the diamond aircraft that uses jet A1. ”
“We already have taken delivery of one diamond 42 aircraft We have more in order, the process is slow because of budgetary allocations and releases but even today we discussed this with the house chairman on aviation and she agrees there is need for us to have increased allocations so we can bring in more aircraft instead of one at a time. ”
“If we are able to re-fleet within the shortest possible time we will not be facing this challenge of availability and cost of Avgas. We bought some and took delivery of some consignment of Avgas last week and we have enough stock to last us quite a while.”