New pilot training program to soar high in October, boosting aviation workforce

By Guardian Correspondent , The Guardian
Published at 08:47 AM Jul 06 2024
A demonstration by an NIT instructor showcasing how the institution conducts training for aircraft attendants.
Photo: Guardian Correspondent f
A demonstration by an NIT instructor showcasing how the institution conducts training for aircraft attendants.

THE National Institute of Transport (NIT) is set to launch a pilot training program in October this year, stating that the initiative will enhance the aviation sub-industry's workforce.

“We have done all procedures to commence offering the pilot training programme in October this year,” NIT Rector Dr Prosper Mgaya told journalists in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.

Dr. Mgaya has further stated that NIT will be the first academic institution in the country to offer such courses, emphasizing that the initiative will assist the government and Tanzanians in saving costs on fees, which will be lower than sending a student abroad.

According to media reports, a pilot course can cost a student up to Sh200 million per year outside the country. However, with NIT, a comparable course will cost less than Sh100 million per year. Presently, Tanzania faces a 60 percent shortage of aircraft personnel, a gap currently being filled by expatriates.

The Rector highlighted that their institute has successfully graduated three batches of certified Cabin Crew members, many of whom are now employed by local airlines in the country, including ATCL, Precision Air, and others.

In October last year, Vice-President Dr. Philip Mpango handed over two single-engine aircraft, Cessna Skyhawk 172, to NIT with the aim of sustaining the Centre of Excellence in Aviation and Transport Operations at the Institute.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony held at JNIA Terminal One, Dr. Mpango mentioned that in 2021, the government had facilitated NIT to enter into a contract to purchase two Cessna 172 Skyhawk training aircraft from Textron Aviation Inc. of the United States.

Dr. Mpango stated that the planes would be used for pilot training, including Private Pilot License (PPL) training lasting 6 months and Commercial Pilot License (CPL) training lasting 12 months.

"The government has allocated funds to enhance the National Institute of Transport's capacity to offer training in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, Flight Operations, and Cabin Crew for TCAA certifications. The objective is to develop sufficient human resources for the aviation industry to serve in various airlines, including ATCL," Dr. Mpango explained.

He emphasized, "To enhance the Institute's ability to offer pilot training effectively, in June 2023, the Government enabled NIT to engage in a contract with Textron Aviation Inc from the United States for the procurement of another aircraft, a Beechcraft Baron G58 with two engines. The aircraft is anticipated to arrive in the country during the third quarter of the 2024/2025 financial year."

Meanwhile, the Institute was established back in 1975 as the training wing of the then National Transport Corporation (NTC). NIT was tasked with the responsibility of bolstering the human resource capabilities of transportation operators and mid-level managers within the NTC's subsidiary companies, which included National Bus Services Limited (KAMATA), Usafiri Dar-es-Salaam Limited (UDA), and Regional Transport Companies (RETCOs).