People of Tshwane have yet another school closeby to pursue careers in the aviation industry as the Paramount Group moves its academy to Wonderboom National Airport. Picture: Supplied
People of Tshwane have yet another school closeby to pursue careers in the aviation industry as the Paramount Group moves its academy to Wonderboom National Airport. Picture: Supplied

New aviation school at Wonderboom airport to benefit young people

By James Mahlokwane Time of article published Jul 5, 2021

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Pretoria - Youth from the City with an interest in aviation are set to benefit from the establishment of yet another aviation school.

Paramount Group Technical Aviation Academy from Polokwane in Limpopo is moving to Wonderboom National Airport.

This has been welcomed by the City of Tshwane, which said it would add value to the lives of residents and the City, which has been working hard to improve the airport and restore it to its glory days.

Speaking to the Pretoria News, Paramount Aerospace Systems’ chief executive Brian Greyling said it was a strategic decision to bring the academy to a busier location with a larger population. The move also made operations smoother as the academy would be adjacent to the company’s advanced aircraft manufacturing facility in Onderstepoort.

“Notably, it was found that moving to Gauteng would be more convenient for the students, who will spend less time travelling from their residences to the academy for walk-in classes and practicals.”

Greyling said they would offer training across the mechanical and avionics technician trades.

“Students with a mechanical focus will be exposed to training conducted on all aspects of the aircraft, from the airframe, hydraulics, piston engines, turbine engines, undercarriage, pneumatic systems, to the fuel systems, while avionics training certification equally covers all aspects of the aircraft avionics sector like aircraft instruments, electrical systems, radios and navigation systems,” he said.

According to a forecast recently published by Boeing, over 27 000 new technicians will be needed in Africa in a demand exacerbated by the outbreak of Covid-19, wherein numerous internationally certified aviation maintenance schools had to suspend operations entirely. Reacting to that, Greyling said: “There has long been deficits of home-grown talent from within South Africa’s aviation technician and MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) industries, largely due to insufficient training capacities in-country, which then resulted in a ‘brain drain’ of our brightest and best.

“As we return to the skies at the precipice of Covid-19 recovery, we at Paramount look forward to the opportunity to serve as a hub of high-skills learning and achievement from Pretoria and to provide hands-on instruction in educating the next great aircraft technicians of Africa."

For the City of Tshwane, this move was a positive development, said chief of staff Jordan Griffiths, as it would complement the City's strong aviation and defence sector. “We also entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Airports Company of SA which aims to further leverage the potential Wonderboom airport has.

“This is great news for the residents and the City because it really helps to position us in a competitive space.”

Pretoria News

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