They do not do things by half in Dubai, and Emirates’ new pilot academy is no exception. The centre, in the emerging “airport city” of Dubai South, has just admitted its first students and will be formally opened on day two of the air show. Designed to meet the fast-growing airline’s need for ab initio pilots and provide a route to the flightdeck for young Emiratis, the main complex is the size of a large high school or college and includes four storeys of classrooms and offices, a four-machine simulator hall, plus accommodation, medical, catering and leisure facilities for up to 600 cadets. The academy even has its own airport, complete with 1,800m runway, control tower and emergency service, divided by a fence from Al Maktoum airport next door.
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