The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) said the newly – acquired Boeing 737 simulator was set to be installed after securing the approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The rector of NCAT, Abdulsalam Muhammed, explained that the simulator would be used in the training of cabin crew training programme, where they would be able to simulate cabin fire and smoke, seat and galley fire, as well as lavatory fire/smoke and this would be the first of its kind in this part of Africa.
While speaking at the second annual seminar of the Abuja Transport and Aviation Correspondent Association (ATACA) in Abuja, Muhammed said, “Our Boeing 737 simulator when installed, will provide the opportunity for the pilots to undergo type rating and recurrent training with us. As you are aware, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the installation of an automatic fire simulator in Zaira.
“We intend to incorporate the use of this simulator into our cabin crew training programme, where we will be able to simulate cabin fire and smoke, seat and galley fire, as well as lavatory fire/smoke. This will be the first of its kind this part of Africa.”
He further noted that training of pilots abroad were very expensive and Nigerian pilots have been spending millions of dollars to get the B737 type rating abroad.
According to him, “I will add that manpower development in aviation comes with its set of challenges. First and foremost, is the high cost of training. Training a single pilot for an ab-initio course alone cost millions of naira.”
The course fees are mostly beyond the capacity of many Nigerians to afford. The implication for this is low patronage of programmes, and low professional turnover.
“Furthermore, training equipment, simulation facilities, and training and retraining of the instructional staff is also expensive. At NCAT, the cost of some of our training is subsidised by government, to make it more affordable to Nigerians.
“But this goes without saying that we are not resting on our oars in ensuring that the country is self-sufficient in training its aviation manpower need and maintain the inclusive and standardised training necessary for the 21st century. “
Also, commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Akin Olateru, said the bureau had done a lot in recent time to release accident reports.
Olateru, represented by AIB’s general manager, Public Affairs, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, said the bureau’s accident laboratory had been revived and functional.
He said that AIB had raised the capacity of its investigators through manpower development and commended the federal government for giving adequate support to the bureau to be able to fulfill its mandate.