Kwara State Government owned International Aviation College (IAC) in Ilorin, in partnership with the Nigerian Navy, has commenced the training of helicopter pilots with the addition of 2XAB206 Helicopters to its training fleet.
Speaking at the flag-off of the training, the Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed said the inclusion of helicopter training was part of efforts to transform International Aviation College into a one-stop aviation training institution and showcase the state as an aviation hub in the country.
Governor Ahmed said the growing reputation of IAC as a Centre of Excellence in aviation industry has manifested in its partnership with various organisations, especially the Nigerian Navy and Airforce.
“It is on record that IAC, Ilorin trained 25 cadets of the Nigeria Airforce in 2014 while several states and foreign governments have indicated interest in sponsoring students training in the college”, he said.
The governor called on aviation operators in Nigeria to employ more locally trained pilots as IAC has shown through its accomplishments, facilities and partnership with elite organisations that the country has the training facilities, structures and personnel to train world class pilots.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, in a message to the flag-off of 2xAB206 Helicopters said the Navy’s partnership with IAC was to bring together “IAC’s expertise and facilities with the Navy’s rotary facilities and experience and reputation”.
Vice Admiral Ibas noted that partnership will reduce Navy’s dependence on foreign technical training requirements and promote local capacities in line with prevailing national policy.
He added that the Nigerian Navy through the partnership hopes to train its aviators to global standards, improve their capacities through the unique combination on civil and non civil organizations that the partnership with IAC offers.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of IAC, Captain Edward Boyo, in his remarks said the College has since its establishment in 2011 successfully trained pilots and other professionals for the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Navy and Nigeria Airforce as well as civil pilots.