Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, Sunday, said that the Federal Government will train about 200 aircraft and helicopter pilots in the Presidential Amnesty programme as part of efforts to address the manpower problem bedeviling the aviation industry.
Speaking at a pre-departure ceremony in Lagos for the 282 delegates, who are the first batch of delegates to depart for offshore training in 2013, Kuku said: “Of the 282 delegates, 21 are to be trained as aircraft and helicopter pilots at the JetStream Aviation Academy in Athens, Greece, for 15 months, bringing to over 215, the number of delegates so far trained in aviation related fields.
“As at the last count, we have offered for training about 215 persons in aviation related fields. We just noticed that there is a gap, particularly in the ground staff and aircraft maintenance engineers, so we are diversifying.
“Even some of them that set out to be trained as pilots originally, had to switch to other fields due to their inability to cope with the requirements of the training. As you know, there is a growing need for private aircraft ownership all over the country. If you go to the General Aviation Terminal wing of the Abuja Airport, you will see that there are more private jets than commercial jets, so there is a space to be filled and that is why we are training pilots to fill these spaces.”