SHEIKH JABOR BIN HAMAD AL-THANI

Qatar 2020 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

QAA is introducing a host of new programs that will help Qatar become the regional aviation hub.

Sheikh Jabor Bin Hamad Al-Thani
BIOGRAPHY

Sheikh Jabor Bin Hamad Al-Thani is the director general of Qatar Aeronautical Academy, the government's official training arm for the air transport sector. Previously, he was the acting CEO and COO of Amiri Flight and an advisor to the Minister of Transport and Communication. He has also held several senior aviation and government positions, and led several government-appointed committees. Al-Thani holds a pilot license and has an advanced master's degree in airline operations from the Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile (ENAC) in France.

QAA was founded in 1977 as the civil aviation college for the Gulf States. What have been the main areas of focus and milestones of the company?
We aim to update our programs in line with the requirements and standards of international organizations. QAA has become more open to the outside aviation community thanks to events that were held in 2018, such as the Fifth Aviation Training Symposium and The TrainAir Plus Program. These events have also paved the way for other conferences and forums. We are also focused on partnerships with international organizations. QAA is a member of ICAO and the European Association of Aviation Education and Training Organizations (EATEO). In 2019, we attended a seminar on safety held by ICAO. We have introduced a number of programs over the years and the most important one is the advanced master's program in air safety management, for which we partnered with ENAC in France. Notably, the institution's name was changed from Qatar Aeronautical College to Qatar Aeronautical Academy in 2019.

How does your institution incorporate the latest trends in the market?
We coordinate with local authorities to prepare programs in line with the needs of the local market. We also design courses and programs that suit the training requirements of different clients. We also study the local market and try to reduce the cost of training in order to attract more students. At QAA, we continuously upgrade our infrastructure and fleet. Moreover, we import the latest equipment for both audio and video display to stay in line with the latest technologies.

What is your opinion on the potential of Qatar as a hub of regional aviation?
Qatar is one of the strongest candidates to become a regional aviation hub because its ports and airports, especially the Hamad International Airport, are some of the world's most modern infrastructures, designed to keep pace with international trends. A great development in this sense is Qatar Airways' expansion.

What will be the role of QAA in ensuring that Qatar has the capacity to manage the increase in traffic related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
QAA will play an important role in hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. We responsible for training the human resources capable of handling the increase in flights. This includes pilots, air traffic controllers, and airport service personnel.

What job opportunities are available for students graduating from QAA?
There are a number of job opportunities for our students, and we are ready to provide the local market with the required specialists. Our aircraft engineering and maintenance students can also work in petroleum institutions after obtaining certain complementary courses. Our students have the opportunity to not just find good jobs in Qatar but also abroad.

What are your plans and expectations for 2020?
We have numerous plans and objectives that relate to the college's strategic plan, which will be implemented in the short and long term. QAA is working hard to introduce post graduate programs for all disciplines and implement the advanced program in the management of air safety. In 2020, we will also partner with other entities to offer coop programs. We are in discussions with a prestigious university to help develop our foundation department and the curriculum. We have our eyes on a number of projects. The most important one is the purchase of simulators for the meteorology and air traffic control departments. We are also working with a consultant to expand our campus in 2020. Notably, the first batch of our students in the advanced master's for aviation management will graduate in 2020. We are also in the process of making our security and passport program international.