This week, Saudi Arabia’s first-ever aviation academy was established in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Rabigh. According to Saudi Press Agency, the National Aviation Academy of Saudi Arabia (Tayaran) was inaugurated by Prince Sultan Bin Salman, chairman of the Saudi Space Commission and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the newly-opened academy.
Speaking at the event, Prince Sultan explained that the academy has been setup to qualify national cadres in accordance with the highest international standards and is in line with Saudi Arabia’s goals to provide employment opportunities for its citizens. Regarding the latter point, it was highlighted during the event that the Kingdom needs around 8,800 pilots and 11,700 aircraft maintenance technicians in the civil and military sector over the next seven years, so the opening of the Tayaran academy is timely.
“The academy will strengthen the Saudi economy and the aviation industry. With the Kingdom’s strategic position and strong economy, it continues to make great progress in aviation, with the largest airports, the largest freight jets, and many significant international aviation conferences and forums,” Prince Sultan said.
According to Arab News, Captain Mohammed Al-Subaiei, director general of the academy, also spoke at the opening ceremony, saying that the academy plans on training 1,650 trainees every year, including 1,200 in aircraft maintenance and 450 as pilots, making it the largest center of its kind in the Middle East.
“In three years, the academy will accept students from around the world. Such an ambitious project will initially begin with around 5 percent of the total number of applicants,” he explained. “The academy is committed to utilizing the best technologies and teaching internationally accredited programs to prepare its members to become pioneers […] [It] will provide job opportunities for young people who, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said, are our foremost resource.”