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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Phils emerges as the center for aviation training in Asia Pacific

by Joelyn G. Baluyut

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga, Jan. 24 (PIA) -- As an aviation training facility is being built in Clark, the Philippines is effectively positioned as a hub and center for aviation training in the Asia Pacific.

President and chief executive officer of Cebu Pacific Air Inc. Lance Gokongwei, said “With the state-of-the-art facilities and comprehensive training footprint of the Philippine Academy Aviation Training (PAAT), the aviation academy is envisioned to be a one-stop regional training center for Cebu and one of the main hubs for Airbus 320 training services for the entire region.”

This world-class aviation facility, which shall be equipped with the most modern training equipment, is a product of a joint venture of Cebu Pacific and Canadian firm CAE (formerly known as Canadian Aviation Electronics). The facility is a $50-million investment academy and will be placed in a 9,000-square meter lot in Clark.

Upon commencement of the aviation academy’s operations in the third quarter of 2012, according to Gokongwei, PAAT shall be a type rating training organization approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to train pilots using the sleet of planes, the Airbus 320 family.

Courses will include initial training courses, upgrade courses and recurrent courses. Apart from these, PAAT is set to train other aviation workers such as cabin crews and ground handling personnels in the near future.

CAE is a global leader in modeling, simulation and training for civil aviation and defense. With annual revenues exceeding 1.6 billion Canadian dollars, the company employs more than 7,500 people at more than 100 sites and training locations in more than 20 countries.

CAAP, on the other hand, is an agency of the Philippine government under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) responsible for implementing policies on civil aviation to assure safe, economic and efficient air travel.

President Benigno S. Aquino III was guest of honor during the ground-breaking ceremony for PAAT, on Tuesday, Jan. 24. President Aquino expressed his gratitude to the pillars of Cebu Pacific, specifically to Gokongwei, as the company is doing its share in nation-building by proving its commitment to things better than mere operations and profits.

The President said the expansion of the country’s airline capacities “will redound to healthier aviation industry mobility for [the] people and ultimately a more robust and equitably progressive economy.” (WLB/JGB/PIA3)

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