The aviation industry both here and abroad has started to open up and recover with only China remaining as the last country with strict border controls. In its Pilot and Technician Outlook last year, Boeing released a still very bullish forecast for pilot demand in the next 20 years with more than 600,000 pilots needed globally and with the bulk of that needed in the Asian region. Already, some aviation consulting firms like Oliver Wyman have declared that the pilot shortage is now upon us. This is strongly felt in North America with some airlines in the US forced to cancel regional routes due to a lack of First Officers. To quote Scott Kirby, the CEO of United Airlines, “The pilot shortage for the industry is real and most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least not for the next five-plus years.” Other areas are also forecasted to need more pilots like the Middle East and India.
With the shortage and robust outlook for pilot demand, it is a good time to begin pilot training. In order to complete the training and make its graduates airline-ready, First Aviation Academy (FAAI) signed a partnership agreement with Alpha Aviation Group Philippines (AAGP) for the First Officer Transition (FOT) program. This is a full Airbus A320 Type Rating program with MCC and JOT designed to equip CPL-IR license holders with all the required elements to qualify for a rating on an Airbus A320.
During the signing ceremony, MGen. Restituto Padilla Jr. AFP (Ret), the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of FAAI, said, “I look forward to seeing more of these- collaborations, partnerships, and alliances happening within the industry in the years to come. This is a golden opportunity to take part in the recovery of the aviation industry. Our team is excited to work hand-in-hand with the AAGP team in producing the kind of pilots the industry needs during these exciting times.”
Also present were FAAI Accountable Manager and the signatory on behalf of FAAI, Capt. Jesus D. Madlangbayan and Mr. Raoul S. Perez, Consultant of PTC Holdings, Inc, who led the drafting and the finalization of the MOA. AAGP was represented by its Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Mr. Cristopher Magdangal and Capt. Vicente Casibang, AAGP’s Accountable Manager and the partnership signatory.
Last year, First Aviation Academy took over the assets of its sister-company Philippine Airlines by buying all the trainer aircraft and simulators of PAL Aviation School. This brings its total fleet to 11 comprised of nine Cessna 172, one Tecnam glass-cockpit P2010 and one Tecnam glass-cockpit P2006T twin-engine aircraft. It also has 4 simulators; 2 Redbird MCX and 1 Redbird Citation Mustang in Subic and 1 Redbird SD sim located at the PAF Museum near NAIA Terminal 3.
FAAI currently offers the following courses;
1. Air Transport Pilot Training Program
2. Private Pilot License
3. Commercial Pilot License
4. Instrument Rating
5. Multi Engine Rating
6. Flight Instructor Course