Total Aviation restates commitment to train Nigerians as professional pilots
The management of Total Aviation Services in partnership with All Aviation Services, United Kingdom have restated their commitment to create an opportunity for Nigerians who are willing to become professional pilots in the range of students within the ages of 18 and 22 years.
Speaking in an interview in Lagos, the managing director of Total Aviation Services, John Ughulu disclosed that the company is looking forward to begin the admission process by the middle of February.
Ughulu said: “We are still in proper arrangements with the schools to get the students admitted for the course. But We all know what terrorism is all about now globally, getting admission in a flying school in the United States is not something you do on phone. The US government has a policy now that for you to train as a pilot in the country, there are certain security background checks that would be carried out and we are on that list, though not on terrorist list, but we all know that there are terrorist activities going on in Nigeria and for US government to be convinced that the students you are bringing in for trainings are solely for the purpose of commercial pilots ,to also prove that they are good citizens and not terrorists or trained for terrorism or by terrorits, is not something that you are going to do within a month. It is something you are going to do for a period of over three months to go though the documentations and profiling that is where we are at the moment.”
He explained that aviation school is not just a traditional or conventional institution where one can just apply, pay tuitions and begin studies.
Ughulu stated that though there are lots of opportunities therein for all, but that there are some difficulties when it comes to documentation, providing scholarships, providing accommodation and better place to train like in the United States and United Kingdom.
We have been on that and we are still very much on it. It is not something we want to rush into, he said.
According to him, the admission part of it is the least I would say. Once it is published, I am sure people would come to apply. Hopefully we are looking forward to partner with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) who would help in the selection processes. This is because for you to train and have commercial pilot licence in Nigeria, NCAA has a lot to do in it. Even the school you want to use to train the students must be certified by NCAA.
He disclosed further that “by next week we would be meeting with NCAA on the requirements to kick start the processes, after this we would still meet with one of the training schools we are using in Amsterdam. We are trying to spread the students across, having the first batch in the U.S; other to the United Kingdom, some in South Africa and now, we are talking to a school in Holland. NCAA has to inspect all these schools and certify them for the trainings. It is not enough for you just to go and train and you come and say that you are a pilot. NCAA has to certify that the school you attended is of standard and approved for the course. That is where we are at the moment”.
He said the details will be published in the Newspapers, as soon as they are set and on their website www.totalaviationitergrateservice.com which is on and undergoing up grading.
In his words: “But that does not really matter for now. Once we shortlist we are going to send the list to NCAA for proper screening. NCAA is the one that would give us the final list. We are not going to be involved, because we don’t want to be biased. NCAA is in the best position to present to us credible and suitably qualified candidates who would participate in the programme”.
He said the NCAA should provide them with technical guidelines and directions on how to actualise the vision for interested Nigerians.
“We are going to be in partnership with the Ministry of Transport part of which NCAA is. It is better we have a common understanding with NCAA on this. We are not just to pick the applicants and students on the streets, we are going to advertise and forms would be given out. Female students are highly welcome, because we want to encourage female to become commercial pilots and bridge the gap. We want to bring them into flying commercial aircraft. We don’t want female to be seen as all they could do is cabin crew or customers’ service. We want Nigeria to have more female pilots. They have equal advantages just like the male students. In fact they have priority”, Ughulu said.