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Dubai Aerospace Enterprise to open pilot academy

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise is to open a pilot academy in the United Arab Emirates in February and is set to become the first school of its type to deploy the Eclipse 500 very light jet.

The DAE University division of the fast-expanding conglomerate is expected to announce the move and its initial aircraft order at next month's Dubai air show.

The university's chief executive Dr George Ebbs says the school will buy as many as 12 Eclipses and around 40 single-turboprop Cirrus SR22s for delivery over the next two years.

The school will be set up in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, where an isolated former air base provides plenty of airspace for ab initio training.

Some 400 students will be in training at any time, with 12-14 month courses starting every two or three months, says Ebbs. Candidates will qualify with a frozen air transport pilot's licence.

The move has been prompted by the pressing shortage of airline and business jet pilots to meet growing demands of carriers in the Gulf and wider Middle East, Indian and North African market, and is part of a wider strategy by the DAE University to train thousands of aerospace and aviation professionals to degree level and beyond.

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