The founder of Uganda Aviation Academy, Captain Mike Mukula has urged East African member states to consider starting a regional airline instead of splitting the market with numerous airlines.
“Uganda is a landlocked country. We must interconnect Uganda to rest of the world market and this can only be done if we harness human resource,” Mukula said.
He added: “I would like to urge you (EAC member states) to consider setting up EAC regional airline, we need to combine this market rather than partition the small market we have. See how you can pull these resources to get one regional airline. We must come out of artificial boundaries; borders closed should be quickly opened so people can trade. We shouldn’t create these challenges that we think we can settle.”
He made the remarks Friday morning while addressing guests and graduands at the Academy’s 8th graduation ceremony held at Protea Hotel in Kampala.
The 8th graduation registered 69 graduands in various disciplines including Airline Cabin Crews, Airline Customer Managers, Aviation Security Awareness and IATA Fares and Ticketing Course.
The Minister of Works and Transport, Monica Ntege Azuba also graced the event.
Mukula revealed that the Uganda Aviation Academy is working through a partnership with Ethiopian airline to train staff for the aviation industry, a move he says will be critical at propelling Africa’s growth.
“… We are working together to put University to train hoteliers, youths in catering, housekeeping, laundry. This is where the future of aviation sector is. For a long time, we have been relying on Kenya. We need to build institutions that can give young people jobs,” he said.
Captain Francis Babu, Chairman of Uganda Aviation Academy called on parents to embrace the aviation industry and drop the notion that the aviation industry is immersed in immorality and prostitution, arguing that there is need to understand the aviation industry.
“… People haven’t understood this job well. The truth is; our children should be left to join the aviation industry. This job is important because laws demand we have crew to support passengers. The clothes they wear are to market the airlines not modeling,” Babu said.
He also defended the necessity of the Academy, saying the aviation industry is opening up in Africa so there is need to train people for the future because most airlines have run away from training staff.
“When you start an airline, you must have people who move because the competition is high. Airlines don’t want to train people (because) it’s an expensive venture,” he said, adding: “Entrepreneurs have come up with facility to train so as to reduce the expense of training so they outsource these services. The most important thing is produce people relevant to the airline. Airlines have been going down and don’t have enough people to work; there is shortage of airline staff. Those training don’t train them well because they don’t have time.”
The Uganda Aviation Academy was established in 2011 to enhance quality civil aviation training and provide end to end solutions to rapid growth and expansion in east and central Africa’s dynamic aviation Industry and the Academy is looking at opening up liaison offices in South Sudan, Burundi and Kenya.