The International Aviation College (IAC), Ilorin, is now partnering with the Nigerian Navy, for the training of helicopter pilots, with the addition of 2XAB206 helicopters to its training fleet.
The college, owned by Kwara State government was established in 2011 by the Bukola Saraki administration in response to dearth of properly trained pilots in the aviation industry combined with the government’s youth empowerment strategy..
It has in its few years of operation, trained and graduated many pilots in line with global best practices.
Speaking during the flag-off of the training, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed said that the inclusion of helicopter training was part of efforts to transform the IAC into a one-stop aviation training institution and showcase the state as an aviation hub.
Ahmed said the growing reputation of IAC as a centre of excellence in the aviation industry has manifested in its partnership with various organisations, especially the Nigerian Navy and Air Force.
“It is on record that IAC, Ilorin trained 25 cadets of the Nigeria Air force 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 IAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Navy last year for helicopter training of its personnel as part of the Navy’s repositioning strategy in the area of building capacity for its staff.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, in a message to the flag-off, said the Navy’s partnership with IAC was to bring together “IAC’s expertise and facilities with the Navy’s noted facilities, experience and reputation.”
Ibas stated that the partnership would reduce the Navy’s dependence on foreign technical training requirements and promote local capacities in line with the prevailing national policy.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of IAC, Captain Edward Boyo, in his remarks said the college has since its establishment, successfully trained pilots and other professionals for the Nigeria Police, Navy and Air Force as well as civil pilots.