KOTA KINABALU: A new flying academy in Sabah is expected to be established by the end of this year, to train local and international pilots, engineers and technicians.
Borneo Flying Academy Sdn Bhd executive chairman Dr Johan Arrifin Datuk A Samad said the company, a subsidiary of Yayasan Sabah, is in the process of applying for the licence from the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA).
“The normal process takes six months before the school starts functioning.
“In the meantime, we are in discussions with our partners and potential customers like AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) as well as flight simulator supplier, CAE Inc of Canada.
“So, there’s a lot of background work being done at this stage to speed up the process of establishing the school,” he told reporters after an agreement signing ceremony here, yesterday.
The company in a statement, further stated that location of the flying academy is being studied and it would utilise the local airport facilities in Sabah, to conduct flight training.
Four aeroplanes will initially be purchased to train about 40 pilots and this number will eventually increase to 100 pilots and 50 engineers and technicians annually.
Johan, who is also Yayasan Sabah deputy director, represented the company in signing the Declaration of Interest to Develop the Aviation Industry in Sabah with Sabah Air Aviation Sdn Bhd (Sabah Air), Asiatic Aviation Sdn Bhd and Eurocopter (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, was present as witness.
The declaration inked aspires to tap the potential of Sabah in gaining recognition as an aviation hub in the region.
Johan explained that the academy would initially train people for fixed wing aircraft (aeroplanes) but also work with Eurocopter (Malaysia) on training local technicians to maintain helicopters.
Meanwhile, a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for an Approved Eurocopter Maintenance Centre in Sabah, was signed between Eurocopter Malaysia and Sabah Air.
This follows Sabah Air’s purchase of two Eurocopter helicopters, one for the ‘Flying Doctors’ service and another, for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Sabah.