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Monday August 20, 2007

Mustapa: Flying academy has met IPTS criteria


KOTA BARU: The Asia Pacific Flight Training School here has become the first in the country to be accorded private institution of higher learning (IPTS) status by the Higher Education Ministry. 

Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, who presented the certification to the school’s chairman Datuk Faruk Othman, said it was part of the educational legislation that any organisation offering private certificate and diploma-level courses should seek recognition for IPTS. 

Mustapa said the IPTS accreditation means Asia Pacific has meet certain criteria and offers quality in every aspect of its flight-training programme. 

The emergence of local flying schools shows the Government’s commitment towards capacity building to meet the needs of the aviation industry which has a bright future due to growing demand. 

At present, there are six flying schools in the country but the one in Kota Baru has been the most aggressive in expansion and marketing, and meeting international standards.  

Mustapa also said the ministry would be discussing with all flying school operators about the possibility of their cadet pilots applying for study aid under the Higher Education Fund. 

He said this was because a growing number of Malaysians want to become commercial pilots. 

Mustapa said he hoped the Sultan Ismail Petra airport can be upgraded into an international hub.  

Earlier, Mustapa’s political secretary Dr Azmi Setapa presented wings to 33 graduates who were cadet pilots from Malaysia Airlines. 

The ceremony also marked the academy's attainment of ISO 9001:2000 certification from Sirim which was presented to the school’s principal Mej (B) Mohd Khalid Ali by Sirim president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Mohd Ariffin Aton. 

Faruk said the school will increase enrolment to 200 from the 160 now, and this will also acquire 13 additional training aircraft. 

He also said the school will purchase an additional flight simulator and has finalised a strategic partnership with Jeppesen, a subsidiary of the US-based giant aircraft manufacturer-Boeing. 

Plans are in the pipeline to also provide helicopter pilot training.  

The school offers private and commercial pilot licensing courses.  

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