Groundbreaking for flight academy today

The ceremony will include a series of events over two days.
“The academy, which will rely on state-of-the-art aircraft, training facilities and equipment, aims to produce a cadre of highly skilled pilots who are disciplined and who practice superior aeronautical decision-making skills,” said William Roe, SAFA managing director.
A joint venture between the SAC and the private sector, SAFA has placed a purchase order for the new generation of DA42 and DA40 aircraft to equip the flight school.
SAFA has also decided to purchase five Diamond FAA Level 6 and 7 FAA Level flight-training devices based on the Diamond aircraft and designed for basic and advanced pilot training.
“A program that includes military, civil, and sports air shows in addition to an accompanying exhibition specializing in all aviation activities will be the main events of the two-day forum,” added Abdullah bin Mansour Al-Jawini, SAC’s executive director, here yesterday.
Al-Jawini said Thumamah Airport would be the venue of the forum. He said that all arrangements had been made as per the directives of Prince Sultan.
As part of its medium-term plans, Al-Jawini said the SAC will operate Rabigh Airport in coordination with the General Authority for Civil Aviation.
In anticipation of the large interest for pilot training from young Saudis, SAFA has already acquired access to the land required to increase the facilities in order to double the annual number of trainees.
The academy, which will occupy 50,000 square meters, will run parallel programs that will train candidates wishing to become professional pilots as well as recreational pilots.
Campus facilities will include all training, residential housing, recreational and administrative offices. The SAFA Professional Pilot Program will utilize an approved curriculum to deliver training from zero-time to a commercial pilot certificate with a multi-engine class rating.
The SAC is authorized to establish other aviation clubs and chapters with permission from the Ministry of Defense and Aviation as per the mandate of the club. Currently, the SAC has its branches in Jeddah, Alkhobar, Abha and Kharj. Plans are also afoot to open new SAC branches in Jubail, Jouf, Tabuk and a few other cities of the Kingdom later this year.
— With input from Ghazanfar Ali Khan

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