Ethiopian Aviation Academy: multinational training hub par excellence

A simulator for B737 MAX at the Academy

Posted by Sade Williams

That the aviation training institution established some decades ago, precisely in 1957, in Addis Ababa, is Africa’s pride and best, is an understatement because it goes far beyond being called Africa’s pride but the ‘pride of the world’.

A visit to this magnificent edifice situated in the heart of Addis Ababa, shows its modern and state-of-the art facilities, including multi-million dollar Simulators for training on different types of aircraft.

The physical structures, in and around the institution, do not portray any sign of something that could pass for more than six decades establishment, but of modern structures with continuous expansion and beautification, to house the new technologies that Ethiopian airlines acquire to train aviation personnel, both from Africa and around the world.

A student training with the Diamond aircraft simulator

Henok Sirak, Media relations and Event management expert, from Ethiopian airlines, while taking journalists on tour of the institution, explained that the Academy has five main schools including: Maintenance; Pilot; Cabin Crew and Catering and Leadership school.

He disclosed that the Academy can accommodate over 4,000 trainees in a year, adding that it has 5 Simulators for Diamond aircraft for ab-initio trainees and another one for its Q-400 aircraft. He said the institution has Simulator for each type of aircraft, adding also that it has 7 Simulators for recurrent training and 5 for beginners.

Hayat Semisi, a cabin crew instructor, who conducted journalists round the simulator area, noted that the Academy plays hosts to trainees from different countries every year and into most of the schools.

Also speaking on the Simulator, she said each costs between $20 million to $27 million, depending on the type of aircraft.

“These are the full flight simulators (pointing at them) here for training, we have for Q400; B737NG; B737MAX;  B757/B767; B777; B787 and A350, this is why we refer to the academy as a multi-national training hub”, she said.

Esayas Woldemariam Hailu, managing director, Ethiopian Airlines international services, had in an earlier interview, disclosed that the airline is one of the few airlines in the world that has simulator for the dreaded and the newest B737Max which was involved in the ill-fated crash, adding that ET will not take the lives of its crew and passengers for granted.

He said the airline takes training seriously, hence the acquisition of such multi-million dollars stimulators for ab-initio and recurrent trainings.

“Also, the rest of the aircraft (Max8), have been parked but because we have more than 100 aircraft, we have been switching, we have been coping. Of course,  in the future, we said we are going to receive the rest of the  order to have a total of 27MAXs but that will only be determined by the outcome of the adjustment of the aircraft system and FAA accrediting it and all airlines flying it, Ethiopian airline has vowed to be the last airline that will fly it, after the entire world has tried and tested it.

“We even have the Simulator, American carriers are operating the aircraft, many them do not even have the Simulator, our pilots have been trained and getting all that is required for Max8 and even now, we have to see everybody doing that and after it is tested and trusted, we would fulfill all the training, precautions and requirements and then we will fly it”, he said.

Cabin crew trainees

An International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) designated Regional Training Center of Excellence, Ethiopian Aviation Academy is also a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved Maintenance Training Organization as well as an Authorised Training Center (ATC) and Accredited Training School (ATS) by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Approved Training Organization (ATO) by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority.

It is well equipped with best in class training equipment and technology offering full range of Aviation Training Programs in Basic Aircraft Maintenance Training( Airframe and Power plant, Avionics and Structure), Aircraft Type Rating :Q400, B737,  B757/767, B787/777, A350 and OJT program, Pilot Training; Flight Attendants Training/ Cabin Crew Training; Airline Sales, Marketing and Ground Operations including DGR (all categories); Leadership and Management Courses; Simulator trainings on Wet and Dry lease basis on Q400, B737NG, B757, B767, B777 ,B787 and A350.

The prestigious Academy also offers courses on IATA Foundation in Travel and Tourism; IATA Cabin Crew Training; ICAO GSI Courses; ICAO SMS; ICAO Training Developers Course; ICAO Aviation English for Aircraft Maintenance Technicians; Train-The-Trainers; Instructional Techniques and Design and e-learning, among others.

The institution also offer tailor made training solutions as training could also be arranged for delivery at client site, as appropriate.

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