- General News
- Oil And Gas
- Feature Articles
The first private aviation school in West Africa to train Senior High School graduates into full Commercial Pilots has been established in Ghana.
Mish Aviation Flying School has been coming up since 2006 but received approval from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority in May this year to train pilots to the commercial flying level.
Chief Executive Officer of Mish Aviation, Captain Ibrahim K. Mshelia conducted senior journalists around the plush training school premises at Tema Community 22 as part of introducing the school to the public, but said it would be fully operational from September 2011.
He said Mish Aviation chose Ghana because of the oil and gas find and also because Ghana was an English-speaking country and the second largest country in the sub-region.
“The oil and gas industry needs aviation to be sustained, and English language is the basis of the aviation industry so everything seem to fall in place for the school to be located in Ghana , besides I have worked in Ghana as a pilot in the 1990s,” he said.
Capt. Mshelia broke the generally held notion that one was required to have passed his or her high school science subjects before he or she could train as a pilot, saying that prospective students needed credits in Mathematics and English plus passes in any three other subjects to qualify for training at Mish Aviation.
“In fact even if you have passes in Mathematics and English and you do well at the interview you can still qualify,” he said.
He said at the current capacity, Mish Aviation could train about 40 pilots every season and improve to 50 per season when it acquired its own airstrip in the future.
“We have our own four SESNA 172 Aircraft which is the best for training in the world and – two of them are already in the country and the other two would arrive soon. There is also a simulated aircraft on campus which is a full aircraft for training except it can’t fly,” he said.
But the journalists who toured the facility were taken aback when he said the cost of training was $58,652 (GH¢89,674.8) per head for a period of between 12 and 18 months, or maximum two years depending on the intelligence of the student.
Capt. Mshelia said the cost was relatively low because the school got huge tax waivers on the import of four SESNA 172 Aircraft, other equipment and aviation gasoline needed for the training.
“But the cost could go up depending on inflation and the student’s own performance – the more a student goes through practical work the more fuel spent on him or her so the cost of that particular student will go up,” he said.
Capt. Mshelia however assured the public that the cost was worth it because “excellence is our hallmark and we have the passion and the expertise to train people into full commercial pilots such that when they leave Mish Aviation Flying School they go straight into commercial piloting for a fee.”
He said the school was also open to give primary level training to military pilots.
Capt. Mshelia said so far there had been more than 200 enquires from 40 countries, adding that Mish Aviation had a character vetting mechanism for international students to guard against terrorists gaining admission into the school.
“We are working closely with the security agencies in Ghana to check the background of international students so that we can train only gentlemen and not terrorists,” he said.
Mish Aviation was registered in 2006 to undertake the business of Air Transport, Aviation Personnel and Flight Training, and Aviation Consultancy Services.
The company also undertakes domestic schedule operation and charter in partnership with its affiliate, Africa Contracts and Equipment Ltd.
By Samuel Dowuona