Friday, August 15, 2014

500 Unemployed Pilots Need Jobs -Nigeria

Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Noggie Meggison, has said that the number of unemployed pilots is about 500 in the country.

He therefore appealed to the federal government to come to their rescue and noted that many of the pilots who graduated from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria and other aviation institutions are jobless.

He added that the collapse of many carriers in Nigeria coupled with the penchant for airlines to engage foreign pilots and engineers has done incalculable damage to the sector.

Meggison stated that until there is a policy that guarantees the engagement of these pilots, they would continue to roam the streets, recalling that as far back as 2008, the country had about 1140 private jets flying clubs, lamenting that Nigeria with about 170 million people have just two training schools and not a single flying club.

The AON Chairman noted that in the United States, pilots from the flight schools do not look for jobs in bigger airlines such as Delta and United because they will not employ them since they do not have the required flying hours, adding that the US does not feel the effect because they have many general aviation aircraft.

Another pilot, who spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that instead of roaming the streets, young pilots in the US usually pay owners of aircraft, who are doing small cargo business from New York to New Jersey because they want to build hours.

To address the problem, the source advocated strong General Aviation (GA), saying that Nigeria aviation is having this problem because the country did not train pilots for long period.

Speaking in the same vein, Managing Director of Finum Aviation Services, Sheri Ayuba Kyari, decried the unemployment of pilots, engineers and other cadre of aviation workers, stressing that it is still an issue.

He said, “Last year, we were told that over 200 pilots were without work and similar situation is befalling others. We need to open up the industry for more investors and give these young ones an opportunity to achieve their aspirations. All bottlenecks for investors should be removed to allow serious investors whether domestic or foreign to buy into aviation. This will also pave the way for more jobs and even consultants to thrive.”

Meanwhile, Kyari has called for an increase in security level at the nation’s airports in view of the bombing of public places in the country.

He noted that since airports are also public places, “we have a duty to use technology for surveillance of secured environments around the airports”, adding that undoubtedly, concerned authorities need to increase the level of security awareness and employ latest technology to scan the airports to keep air travelers, workers and infrastructure safe and secure.

- Source:

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