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Dr Erold Naomab addresses various industry partners and guests from Finland.

Aviation feasibility study take-off

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed more than two years ago articulated that a feasibility study be coordinated between the two parties to establish the AiRRhow Centre of Excellence for Civil Aviation for Africa in Keetmanshoop. “Civil aviation in Africa has unique challenges such as limited infrastructure, regulatory barriers, and safety concerns,” Dr Erold Naomab, NUST Vice-Chancellor said. He further added that such a centre could prompt the design and manufacturing of aircrafts, aircraft maintenance, airline operations, air traffic control, ground handling, airline marketing and sales, and regulation.

This plan stands to boost the African aviation sector, which largely relies on tourism, by supporting economic growth, regional integration, and improved connectivity.

The first in a series of planned feasibility workshops took place on Monday this week, to serve as a platform to map a way forward on how the project can be rolled out effectively. Discussions revolved around resources needed and how the current skills gap can be addressed.

Minister of Works and Transport, Hon John Mutorwa graced the occasion, and phrased his remarks from the MoU document, saying “in order to promote public-private partnership cooperation and to foster sustainable and innovative Civil Aviation related training and education in Namibia.” The MoU further states that the Parties undertake to cooperate in the areas of conducting a Feasability Study on establishing a Centre of Excellence for Civil Aviation that will look at institutional technical, academic and economic viability. Following the Feasibility Study, a Draft Business Plan of a Centre of Excellence for Training and Education of Civil Aviation in Namibia will be formulated to conduct a separate study of physical and digital learning environments, to promot job creation and to expand local/regional value addition within the Civil Aviation sector.

Industry experts say the establishment of the centre in Namibia will not only propel the increase of training in a variety of aviation technologies but also drive several economic activities