An agreement between the South African Department of Transport and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) may see a new crop of aviators trained for South Africa and the continent.
The agreement – signed on Friday by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele and ICAO Secretary-General Raymond Benjamin in Montreal, Canada – is expected to produce much-needed new pilots, aircraft engineers, air navigation officers and all related aviation sector workers, the state BuaNews agency says.
“It would also ensure that the training provided augments South Africa’s capabilities in building skills in Aviation Disciplines, which are conducive to the promotion of the safety, security and development of civil aviation. The training centres will, after completion of each training programme, file course reports to South Africa and to ICAO,” said Benjamin.
ICAO, the United Nations global aviation regular, and the department have agreed to jointly develop and implement an aviation training plan for South Africa, which would be implemented from October this year to September 30, 2015. Ndebele said South Africa would pay for travel and the local expenses, including the training and course fees, living allowances and accommodation for the selected candidates. ICAO would provide the technical and expert support.
He said the agreement would benefit Africa and was important to economic development. “Aviation in Africa or anywhere else cannot be developed in isolation from other regions. We are therefore called upon to provide and maintain world-class standards at every turn. We are here to promote Africa’s role as an integral part of the governance of aviation worldwide. We are already become global competitors, while our airport infrastructure meets the economic growth and socio-economic goals of our country and continent.”
He welcomed the agreement, especially in light of October being Transport Month in South Africa.
Ndebele is part of a South African delegation to the 37th Assembly of ICAO being held in Montreal. He added how proud he was that South Africa was re-elected for a third term onto the ICAO Council.