The struggles of student pilots, Who’s to take responsibility?
Complaints about incompetency in management regarding the Asian Academy of Aeronautics is nothing new. Throughout recent years many students have highlighted their frustrations multiple times and have approached relevant authorities without having their voices heard.
The problem involving AAA is fairly simple. The flying school simply does not have enough training aircraft and flight instructors to train the students they have in their academy. They have enrolled way too many students than they can manage. Thus the course gets delayed way beyond than it normally should.
To put this in perspective; to finish zero to frozen ATPL pilots course would require over 2 years time period. In AAA many students are now going over 3 to 4 years without being able to complete this course.
A flying school is an authorized training organization that is approved by the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority. It’s the MCAA's responsibility to regulate and ensure the school is operated within the regulations set forth and ensure its proper operation.
Over the years many students have approached to MCAA, education ministry, and other relevant authorities raising their concerns but did not receive much assistance in return.
Fast forward to today, frustrated students had enough and took a stand themselves raising their concerns through social media. It was only then the ministries have started to take a look into the matter.
The education ministry, transport ministry, and MCAA all have reported that they are looking into the matter. MCAA went on to instruct the school to meet the minimum required student to instructor ratio and instructed to schedule students for training accordingly. AAA is told they would not be able to enroll more students unless they meet the conditions.
However due dates for these went by without AAA been able to fix their issues and the school has started to kick out certain students. According to the students they are receiving threatening messages from the school management.
The chairman Mr.Aliakber Jeevunjee says the students are not able to complete the course in 18 months because of unfavorable weather conditions, inability for the students to complete payment, and complete exams on due time.
The chairmen said that they are trying to bring additional flight instructors and are trying to get the Piper Seneca aircraft fixed for flying however they are not able to do so due to multiple issues faced because of the impact of COVID-19.
Some student's failure to carry out payments and completion of exams in due time are reasons for the delay in course completion however the inability of aircraft and instructors are a bigger reason for the delay in course completion.
Maldives generally has fine weather conditions throughout the year, especially comparing to other parts of the world for students to be able to complete the course in due time.
AAA continues to provide reasoning for delays in course completion for students however, everything simply points back to the direction of AAA as delays caused in the training course are simply due to the failure of the flight school itself.
A career as a pilot is considered among the most stressful jobs in the world. The training path to become a pilot itself is an immensely challenging process.
The students are yet to see any progressive decisions made by any authorities that can provide a solution for the problems they are facing today. The students are losing valuable time money, who’s is to take responsibility?