The Nigerian Navy in partnership with the Kwara State Government-owned
International Aviation College in Ilorin has commenced the training of helicopter pilots.
The navy through the Navy Holdings Limited also handed over two XAB 206 helicopters to the IAC.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, was represented by Chief of Logistics, Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral Goddy Anyakpe, at the inauguration of the helicopter training and handing over ceremony of the two helicopters held in Ilorin.
He said the involvement of the navy in the programme was part of its commitment to reducing heavy foreign dependence in the industry.
To achieve this, Ibas said the navy planned to create a regional aviation training hub in Ilorin through the establishment of an aviation centre and school, which he said would commence shortly.
The navy boss said that the Nigerian Navy decided to take the bold step considering that the Nigerian Navy Air Arm since 30 years of its existence had been relying on foreign technical expertise and training.
Ibas said, “This partnership to train aviators is a bold first step towards a vision of creating a regional aviation training hub in Ilorin through the establishment of an aviation centre and school, which will follow shortly.”
The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the inclusion of helicopter training was part of the efforts to transform the aviation college into a one-stop aviation training institution and showcase the state as an aviation hub.
He stated that the growing reputation of the IAC as a Centre of Excellence in aviation industry had manifested in its partnership with various organisations, especially the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force.
The governor called on airline operators in Nigeria to employ more locally trained pilots, noting that the IAC had shown through its accomplishments and facilities that Nigeria has the structures and personnel to train world-class pilots.
The Chairman, Board of Directors of IAC, Captain Edward Boyo, said the college had since its establishment in 2011 successfully trained pilots and other professionals for the Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Navy and Nigeria Air Force as well as civil pilots.
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