Home News ICAO, Singapore to partner on training of young professionals

ICAO, Singapore to partner on training of young professionals


By Sumaila Ogbaje


Abuja   –   International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), said it had signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore, to provide 40 scholarships and 600 fellowships to young aviation professionals.

A statement by ICAO on Tuesday, said that ICAO Council’s President, Dr. Benard Aliu, formalised the new five-year, six million dollar programme at the ongoing Aviation Leadership Summit in Singapore on Monday.

Aliu said that ICAO was grateful to Singapore for its leadership on human resources development, particularly through the Singapore Aviation Academy (SAA).

He said that global air transport sustainability would be critically tied to the ability of aviation sector to assure sufficient numbers of skilled aviation personnel offset forecast growth and attrition impacts in the years to come.

Aliu said it would be difficult to achieve safest and efficient air transport network in the world without enough skilled managers and leaders to operate and regulate it sustainably for future generations.

“It is my great honour to be formalizing this new joint ICAO-Singapore programme during the 60th Anniversary of this highly-regarded and very critical training resource for aviation professionals.

“It would be a shame to work so hard together toward the achievement and management of the safest and most efficient air transport network without enough skilled managers and leaders to operate and regulate it sustainably for future generations.

“Through collective efforts of ICAO, member states and industry, in 2017, set a record for aviation safety even as air transport carried a record 4.1 billion passengers on 37 million flights.

“The responsibility to ensure that air transport continues to drive sustainable socio-economic benefits rests squarely on the shoulders of the stakeholders.

“As our system and its aircraft continue to modernize, becoming greener and more supportive of global climate priorities as they do, we must also do more to ensure our network’s sustainability from all relevant standpoints,” he said.

ICAO’s President said that aviation’s workforce was contracting due to the inevitable demographics of aging populations, lowering birth rates, and other attrition factors.

He added that these challenges to workforce planning were further aggravated by the increasing number of high-tech careers in other industry sectors which competed with aviation for up-and-coming talents.

According to him, ICAO has recently updated its forecasts for three key air transport professions; namely, pilots, air traffic controllers and aircraft technicians.

“Our preliminary numbers have revealed that no fewer than 620,000 pilots will be needed by 2036, to fly the world’s 100-seat-and-larger aircraft.

“But even more important than this figure is the fact that no less than 80 per cent of these future aviators will be new pilots, who are not yet flying today.

“The story is the same with respect to the future air traffic controllers, maintenance personnel and other technicians needed as well as hundreds of direct and indirect aviation-related career categories.

“What this makes clear is that we will need to increase the overall numbers of next generation aviation professionals, and ideally manage their balanced movement between countries and employers.

“The fact that air transport functions first and foremost as an interconnected network, means that all States and regions must be sustainably serviced,” Aliu added.

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