Denel moves into Africa


Denel is growing its footprint in Africa with the advanced training of aircraft technicians in Kenya.

The Denel Technical Academy (DTA) a division of the Denel Group is partnering with the Kenya Aeronautical College to grow the skills base of local artisans and increase their capacity to work on a range of international aircraft, the state arsenal says in a statement. Dr Eric Khoza, the General Manager of DTA says South African teaching staff now regularly travels to the East African country to conduct aircraft advanced type training. The Kenyan students are all qualified aircraft technicians who want to further their education to include a wider range of manufacturers’ products.

Kenya is one of the fastest growing markets for commercial aviation on the continent with about 900 registered commercial aircraft. In aviation terms it is a regional hub serving the entire East Africa including Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Ethiopia.

The training is conducted at Wilson Airport, a local and regional airport located just south of the capital city, Nairobi. “Through our training we are growing African relations, building partnerships and together, helping to make the African skies safe,” says Khoza. “Both our local graduates and our new students in Kenya are in high demand in the global aviation industry.”

The Kenyan training is currently accredited by the South African Civil Aviation Authority and meets the exacting standards prescribed by the various original equipment manufacturers serviced by Denel Aviation.
“We are in talks with the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority to also grant local accreditation to our courses,” says Khoza. “This decision will strengthen our relationship with Kenya and enable us to grow the range of courses we can offer.” Khoza adds the Kenyan initiative is part of the broader Denel strategy to grow its presence in Africa. In addition to its defence equipment there is also a growth in services and products that are applicable in both the military and civilian markets.

Another Denel subsidiary, Mechem, provided vital humanitarian assistance through the clearance of land mines in South Sudan prior to its first elections.

A delegation from Senegal recently visited DTA to discuss future cooperation in the training of pilots and aircraft technicians. This will provide the Academy with a foothold in West Africa and the prospects to grow its business in this region.

The DTA is accredited with the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) and its quality management is based on AS9100 standards. More than 100 Kenyan students have already successfully completed the theoretical and practical courses offered by the DTA at Wilson Airport.

Pic: Denel workers asembling an AgustaWestlad A109 lght utility helicopter in January 2008