TURNING DREAMS INTO REALITY

Qatar 2019 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

QAC continues to excel in training modern pilots by introducing new structures and education tools and forming partnerships with prominent players in the aviation sector.

Sheikh Jabor Bin Hamad M. Al-Thani
BIOGRAPHY
Sheikh Jabor Bin Hamad M. Al-Thani is the Director General of QAC, the government’s official training arm for the air transport sector. Prior to this, he was an advisor to the Minister of Transport and Communication and a police official. Throughout his career, he also held several senior aviation and government positions, and led several government-appointed committees. Al-Thani holds a pilot licence and has an advanced master’s degree in Airline Operations from the Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile in France.

How has your training offer developed since the establishment of the college?

Qatar Aeronautical College (QAC) was established in 1977 and we celebrated its 40th anniversary in December 2018. At the time of its establishment, QAC focused only on pilot training, and due to the airline market's growth in the Gulf in the 1980s and 1990s, we added engineering, air traffic control, and meteorology as well as the English language, which complements all our majors to date. We subsequently added new courses for advanced aviation and management that can serve all areas in airports, civil aviation, and even airline administration, which serves ground handling and airport management. We have many partnerships with top organizations in the global aviation industry, including International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Airports Council International (ACI). Since the college's foundation, we have focused on developing our college academics to a high standard. At present, the aviation industry is different than what it was 20 years ago, and with that in mind, we enhanced it with new structures and education tools. Equally important, we implemented a new fleet of 10 diamond aircraft that we received in March 2018. These are highly equipped in terms of avionics technology and have multiple engines. Moreover, the college also built a new A320 simulator-based training for the multi pilot licence.

How has QAC contributed to the consolidation of civil aviation in Qatar?

We work closely with our regulator, the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, and the main airline Qatar Airways, as well as the new Hamad Airport and other authorities. As a college, we need to meet the standards of training they require for operating. We train Qatari students and students from the Arab league and Africa, who can either self-sponsor or be sponsored to take one of our programmes. Our engineering programme is certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and our advanced aviation management course is approved by authorities and top organizations in the aviation industry. Notably, we have full gold membership of ICAO and held its global symposium in Doha in December 2018, to be attended by up to 500 aviation expects and participants. The topic will be aviation intelligence, and the event is under the patronage of the Ministry of Transportation and Communication and the General Secretary of ICAO.

How would you classify the fleet used to provide training programs at QAC?

We have done a case study on the needs of the market in the present aviation field, which resulted in choosing a more cost effective and efficient fleet. Our new diamond fleet is better in terms of fuel and maintenance, and boasts high-level avionics technology. This allows us to familiarize students with the aircraft before their initial flight.

What are the priorities of QAC in 2019?

For 2019, we are in the process of building new modern facilities and plan on continuing to enhance our learning tools and teaching methods. Also, we will be introducing a post graduate program in the near future. In addition to that, QAC is in the final stage of signing a new agreement with the French Aviation University (ENAC) in partnership with ICAO on aviation industry safety management systems.