Malaysian firm is establishing a pilot training school in East Malaysia that
aims to help meet demand from airlines in China,
India, the Middle
East and Southeast Asia wishing to recruit
qualified commercial pilots.
Golden Square Group, a company headquartered in Kuala
Lumpur that has done business in the Middle East, is establishing
the flying school in the East Malaysian town of Bintulu and calling it the Gulf
Golden International Flying Academy (GGIFA).
president Morshidi Abdul Rahman,
who is also group CEO of Gulf Golden Square Group, says he hopes to open the
school in May or June after officials from the Malaysian Department of Civil
Aviation (DCA) have had a chance to inspect it earlier in May.
initial student intake will be 24 with another 48 students joining in two
batches in subsequent weeks, says Morshidi, adding
that many of the first students will come from East
the school is being established to cater to airlines in China,
India, the Middle
East and Southeast Asia that need to find
Morshidi’s company, Gulf Golden Square Group, until now has
largely been involved in helping Malaysian construction companies to secure
contracts in the Middle East.
says he decided to establish a flying school in Malaysia
because he felt that airlines in the Middle East that had been sending pilots
to the USA
for training might need to find an alternative.
Morshidi says when the September 2001 US terrorist attacks
took place, he realised from then on that “it would be difficult for a lot of
Middle East students to go to the USA, UK and Europe to be trained as pilots
because they would have to go through stringent security procedures and would
adds: “We decided to establish a flying school in Malaysia
where they wouldn’t face so many difficulties.” Malaysia
is Muslim country where English is widely spoken. The local population
comprises three distinct racial groups: Chinese, Indians and Malays.
Bintulu, which is in East Malaysia’s Sarawak
province, was chosen as the site because there is plenty of airspace available
for general aviation, the airport itself was built just two years ago and it
has a 2,740m (9,000ft)-long runway, says Morshidi.
says the students will also be allowed to operate aircraft to some of the small
airports in the area such as Mukah and Tanjong Manis.
flying school has already had built next to the airport a building housing 12
classrooms. It is also currently building a hangar
that can house six aircraft and in June work will commence on the construction
of an apartment complex with capacity to house 600 students, he adds.
school will be offering private pilot’s license (PPL) and commercial pilot’s
license (CPL) courses and eventually plans to offer multi-crew pilot licence training
year the school signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)
to purchase primary trainers from Diamond Aircraft.
Morshidi says: “We are still pursuing Diamond to provide
aircraft to us [DA40s and DA42s] and we expect to make a purchase in the next
he is also still considering buying Cessna 172s or Zlin
aircraft from Czech aircraft maker Moravan Aviation,
says Morshidi, adding that the order for 36-40
primary trainers might be split between two manufacturers.
year the school also signed a memorandum of understanding to buy 10 Aero Nimbis NMX very light jet (VLJ) aircraft.
Morshidi says it still plans to order this aircraft type
but is unable to commit to an order now because it is unsure when the aircraft
can be delivered.
NMX is a new aircraft type still under development by Southeast Asian company
Aero Nimbus which is trying to develop it with assistance from Indonesian
Morshidi says that rather then
wait for the NMX, the school plans to first order a Bombardier Learjet 60 and two Learjet 45s.
addition, it is considering ordering VLJ aircraft from Eclipse, Diamond or Adam
school aims to have all the primary trainers and the Learjet
aircraft delivered by the end of 2008, he adds.
terms of aircraft maintenance support, the school is negotiating with Singapore
maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm Singapore Technologies Aerospace (ST
Aero) which has relevant experience because it already maintains the aircraft
at the Republic
of Singapore Flying Club
and Singapore Youth Flying Club.
Morshidi adds that the two sides are also talking about
partnering in the second phase of the Malaysian flying school’s development,
which involves offering ST Aero accredited maintenance training courses.