Industry experts and stakeholders have urged young Nigerians to take up career in aviation and contribute to the growth of the industry.
They counselled the youths during the third Aviation Careers Conference held in Lagos, that was organised by the Mentorship Academy of Mamaj Aviation Consult Limited.
The outgoing Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Muhtar Usman, said the role of aviation was central to the development and expansion of the global economy in the 21st century.
“The sustainability of this important role is therefore critical, and calls for deliberate programs of action worldwide to produce the technical and managerial manpower that would meet the new challenges in global aviation.
“Generally, aeroplanes are becoming bigger, flying faster, and reducing travel times. Airports are becoming larger and more complex, handling millions of passengers per annum, while meeting growing security challenges. There is therefore growing demand for the training and grooming of large work forces of men and women in all the sectors of commercial aviation.
“As a result, the demand for technical skill in Aircraft Maintenance, Flight Operations, Air Traffic Control, Airport Maintenance and Airport Management remains persistent. This growth of the aviation industry has also raised very serious security challenges which must be dealt with thorough technological innovation using skilled manpower,” he said.
Usman, also noted that the solutions to the foregoing challenges require the application of technology at various levels, adding that the requirements are not only in science and technology, but also in the arts and humanities.
“All said and done, the modern aviation industry encompasses virtually all areas of human experience. There is therefore room for all to thrive and flourish in an atmosphere of technological challenges and innovation. Any diligent student can find a professionally fulfilling and rewarding job in the aviation industry. The traditional science subjects of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and geography would lead you to your goal. But that is not all.
“The modern aviation industry (especially in Nigeria) urgently requires a large pool of sound aviation professionals in all areas and departments. Producing these professionals requires a robust training and manpower development programme by both the government and the private sector in most developing countries (including Nigeria), the private sector is not strong enough to bear alone, the burden of such manpower development programme,” Usman said.
He noted that there are in Nigeria, some local aviation training centres for basic flying and maintenance training. The primary one, the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, which offers training programmes in flying, maintenance, air traffic control, and avionics respectively.
He said for the young people who seek to build aviation careers, the future is promising despite the teething challenges there may be, especially in developing economies.