CIAS (College Ireland Aviation Services) and MATA (Mega Aviation Training Academy), based in Ekurhuleni, have entered into an agreement to partner for a world-class aviation training and academic programme in southern Africa.
The announcement was made in the last week of May during the Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa, led by Irish Foreign Affairs and Trade minister, Charlie Flanagan.
CIAS, originally an Irish Aviation Authority initiative but now a standalone company, acts with more than 20 Irish aviation companies and universities to provide a single solution in the aviation training and education sector. Among its affiliates are Lufthansa Technic Shannon (formerly Shannon Aerospace), Trinity College (Dublin), the University of Limerick, and the International Academy of Travel (Waterford).
The agreement will initially see provision of aircraft maintenance training to EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) standard and will expand to include elements of airline training, airline operations, airport operations, under- and post-graduate as well as masters’ programmes.
At the signing, Flanagan said he welcomed the agreement, which “showed what is possible for Irish companies” in the southern African region.
“The agreement is a positive endorsement of the growth in trade and investment between Ireland and South Africa, demonstrating the role of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the embassy network in facilitating opportunities in co-operation with agencies such as Enterprise Ireland,” he said.
“This agreement follows similar ones with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi and other companies and colleges in the UAE and Qatar,” Brian Joyce, chief executive of CIAS, said, adding the South African agreement was the first in Africa.
“MATA is an ideal partner given its reputation for excellence and we see the joint initiative as being significant to both South Africa and the wider southern African region.”