The International Monetary Fund predicts that in the next five years Africa will be one of the 10 most rapidly growing economies in the world. The World Bank expects that as early as next year the region’s economy will go up by approx. 5.5%. Global aviation industry is constantly stiffening safety regulations and companies all over the world have to adapt to modern information technologies, new generation aircraft, increasing competition, unstable financial markets, changing fuel prices and globalized environment. FL Technics Training experts point out, that with the current situation and these major tendencies in mind, the African aviation sector must address its problems straight away.
According to Boeing prognosis, by 2030 the African continent will require up to 19,200 aviation technicians. FL Technics Training experts, however, say that such optimistic view is clouded by various problems in the African aviation sector that must be immediately dealt with. These include limited market access, under-developed infrastructure, obsolescent aircraft fleet, specialist emigration issues, lack of qualified and experienced human resources, shortage of training centres, bureaucratic interference, high operational costs and tax levels, poor aviation traditions, etc.
‘The market of technical maintenance and support training in Africa is a hot topic of discussion among local aviation specialists. There are many difficult issues to consider: how to attract and sustain as many technicians as possible, how to ensure the necessary infrastructure and how to guarantee proper compliance with the constantly updated safety regulations. These are only a few of pending concerns. In order to tackle its problems the African aviation industry requires immense investments as well as a highly innovative and creative approach. It is only natural that the rapidly developing technologies in Africa call for superior skilled and highly qualified personnel. Otherwise the aviation industry progress will simply stagnate in general,’ commented the Deputy Head of FL Technics Training Dainius Sakalauskas.
According to D. Sakalauskas, an increased demand for technicians capable of easily locating breakdowns is already a sore spot within the market. Highly qualified engineers who can accurately assess problems can save airlines and MRO companies a considerable amount of costs. In order to meet aircraft maintenance and technical support needs local airlines have established their own maintenance centres across the continent. However, in order to maintain the aviation industry in Africa that has more than a billion inhabitants, the number and quality of both maintenance and staff training centres must be substantially increased.
‘New generation aircraft will require less technical maintenance. On the other hand, the rapidly expanding IT technologies will call for better skilled and qualified specialists. Aircraft and engines that have been manufactured according to the newest technologies are more reliable; however, they are also more elaborate. Integrating new technologies requires major investments into both modern equipment and technical training. They must cover such areas as improving the communication between airlines and aircraft maintenance centres, developing useful partnerships, absorbing technical know-how, updating operational systems, expanding global sales network and generating new relationships with suppliers,’ explained D.Sakalauskas.
Air transportation in Africa is a very important part of socio-economic development, international trade and tourism, regional integration and local means of communication. From a geographical point of view the continent accounts for a fifth of the entire land in the world; however, due to relief particularities the land transport in Africa is very complicated. In this respect the continent is ideal for developing air transport. Proper personnel training and re-qualification will enable the African aviation industry to adapt to the dynamic changes in the global market and allow the continent to improve the level of aviation considerably faster.
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