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Discussions under way for aviation school in Jamaica

Friday, December 07, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Transport and Mining Minister, Robert Montague, says stakeholder discussions are under way for the establishment of a globally recognised aviation school in Jamaica.

Montague advised that the consultations involve representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), and two overseas institutions.

He said this forms part of the Government's plans to further boost the local aviation industry by establishing a world-class facility to train more Jamaican commercial pilots.

The minister was delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony for the second annual two-day aviation seminar, jointly hosted by the AAJ, JCAA and Aeronautical Telecommunications Limited (AEROTEL) at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on Thursday.

Montague, who noted that Jamaican pilots have long established themselves among the best in the world, said data suggest that the global aviation industry is short of approximately 600,000 commercial pilots.

He contended that Jamaica needs to tap into the potential opportunities that this presents. “We believe we are selling the industry short if we do not give to general aviation, more Jamaican pilots,” he added.

Meanwhile, Montague said the Government has given the JCAA approval to seek a seat on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), when the elections are held next year in Montreal, Canada, where the ICAO is headquartered.

The minister, who indicated that “we are confident of victory”, said securing a seat would be a major boost for the country and the wider Caribbean.

The two-day seminar, being held under the theme 'Air Transport as an Engine of Economic Development in Jamaica and the Caribbean', forms part of Jamaica's observance of International Civil Aviation Day on December 7 by the United Nations (UN), in commemoration of the International Civil Aviation Organization's establishment in 1944.

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