Official opening of International Aviation Academy-Norwich

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Local, national and international aspiring aviation students and people seeking a new career in aviation can now realise their dream after the Official Opening this week of the International Aviation Academy-Norwich at Norwich Airport.

The building was officially opened by Group Captain Carol Vorderman, Air Cadet Honorary Ambassador and Air Commodore Dawn McAfferty, Commandant of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, at a ceremony at the Academy. Sir Peter Rigby, Chairman of Rigby Group plc and owners of Norwich Airport, also announced their support for the building’s Board Room and Seminar Room.

The plans, unveiled in September 2013, were to create an Aviation Academy at the Airport to provide a centre of excellence for education and skills training in aviation, delivered in partnership with the region’s employers, education groups and local authorities. Today, this new state of the art Aviation Academy, part of the airport’s ambitious expansion plans, is already training the next generation of aviation engineers with more areas of aviation to follow.

The academy is a Joint Enterprise between Norse Group and Aviation Skills Partnership. It is supported by a core group of founding partners, including Norfolk County Council, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Norwich City Council, KLM UK Engineering, Norwich Airport, KLM UK Engineering, City College Norwich, University of East Anglia, and Broadland District Council. It is based at the airport site, and is equipped to provide training to 400-500 students at any given time.

The Academy creates a world-first ‘real world’ learning environment that includes full size aircraft and raises the standards of learning using innovative teaching techniques. It focuses on offering a broad education and skills training in aviation that will attract both local and international students. Key skills and training programmes start from age 16 initially include Aviation Engineering, Cabin Crew and Airport Operations with other areas planned. The Engineering delivery is entirely practice-based and incorporates an innovative University of East Anglia/City College Norwich BSc(Hons) work-based degree/degree apprenticeship developed by Aviation Skills Partnership delivered with KLM UK Engineering. The cabin crew and airport training programmes are industry designed to create work-ready people for local, national and international roles.

Aviation Skills Partnership’s (ASP) Chairman & Chief Executive Simon Witts said: “We are delighted to have led this ground-breaking initiative. My aim in setting up ASP was to transform the approach to training across our six areas of aviation and this new Academy is our first, providing access to industry-designed skills programmes in full partnership with Universities, FE Colleges, Schools, Private Training Providers and Awarding Organisations. I congratulate Norwich and the region on their vision in supporting this project and I am delighted to see the interest from people enrolling onto the courses.”

Norse Group Managing Director, Mike Britch, said: “The Norse Group is proud to have been pivotal in the realisation of this ambitious project, which is the first of its kind in the UK. Whilst the state-ofthe- art Academy building is an icon in its own right, the heart of the project has always been to create career opportunities in the aviation industry for generations of students not only from the eastern region but further afield.

“It is fantastic to see the first generation of pupils already benefiting from and enjoying this currently unique educational facility and I look forward to seeing student numbers grow. I have no doubt that this will be an extremely popular destination for young people seeking a career in an interesting and expanding industry.”

Sir Peter Rigby, CEO and Chairman of Rigby Group, which owns Norwich Airport, said: “As a founding partner in the new Academy we are delighted to support this world-class facility by sponsoring the training room and board room. Through our Regional & City Airports division, aviation is an important part of our business and skills are vital to the future. The Academy will cement Norwich Airport’s growing international reputation for aviation excellence, and create opportunities for our young people to learn the skills the industry needs to sustain growth.”

BlueSky Business Aviation News | 10th August 2017 | Issue #428