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Flight academy for Swaziland?

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By Fanyana Mabuza -12-Sep-2009

Swaziland may soon have its own flight academy

That is if the application by a company named Temaswati Flying Academy which will also trade as Swaziland Aeronautical Academy have its application for a licence granted.

The company has applied to the Swaziland Licensing Authority for the licence and already adverts have been placed in the local media where the authority is calling for submissions or objections, something that should have been done within 21 days after the first appearance of the advert.

This process is being done according to Regulation 261 of the Aviation regulations. Origins of the applicants could not be availed, but there is a strong possibility that it could comprise of local people, when looking at the company’s trading name.

Temaswati Flying Academy will provide aerial work and flying training, even though it could not be specified in the advert as to what kind and size of aircraft they will be training potential pilots on, except that they will be using the Jabiru J430 type of aircraft on their licence.

They will be based at the Matsapha International Airport. The Minister of Public Works and Transport Nthuthuko Dlamini when called for comment over such a development mentioned that he personally could not object against it, saying it would be a positive development for the country.

He mentioned that only last Thursday he met with workers of the Matsapha Airport who lamented the fact that there had been no training of people in the country’s aviation industry for that last decade or so. “So you can see that we do need such academies in the country, especially with the forthcoming operationalisation of the Sikhuphe International Airport next year.

“As long as the people provide quality training that would be recognised internationally, I would have no problem about it,” he said, adding that the only problem he would have is for chancers to take Swazis for a ride. Dlamini then encouraged qualifying Swazis to apply to government for scholarship to study aviation as there were a lot of opportunities in that field, even locally. “We are mulling over prospects of buying our own aircraft and reviving the defunct airline, which will further open more opportunities for people in that field,” he said.

The Matsapha Airport Manager Jabulani Ngubane also concurred with the minister, saying such an institution was long overdue in the country. He mentioned that although he had not personally seen the advert, but he maintained it would be a positive step for the country’s aviation industry. “We do not only need pilots, but people trained further than that. People that can regulate aircraft and ensure their airworthiness while also ensuring that the pilots themselves are regularly appraised to check their suitability. “Aviation is divided into two main segments, that of regulation and operation and as a country we have to have competent people on both segments,” he said.

He then urged government to place more emphasis on the training of people in avionics and related sciences, if the country was to maintain a fully competent aviation industry that can stand its ground even among the world’s top airlines.

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