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Thursday July 9, 2009
Story and photos by C. A. ZULKIFLE
THE Asia Pacific Flight Training (APFT) School in Panji, Kota Baru, is fast gaining ground as the country’s premier flight training centre with 12 students sponsored by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) enrolling with the academy.
These students, who are pioneers of MARA and APFT’s Cadet Pilot Programme, will serve with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) upon the completion of their training which will take 18 to 20 months.
APFT principal Mej (rtd) Datuk Mohd Khalid Ali said they recently purchased six new Piper 28 aircraft to add to their fleet of 30, adding that they also had two state-of-the-art simulators which would be upgraded when enrolment increases.
“We have trained over 200 pilots for MAS, Nepal Airlines and Garuda Airlines and also private students over the past three years,” he said after witnessing the new students’ enrolment on Monday.
MAS human resources and manpower assistant general manager Zulhaimi Othman said out of the 1,200 pilots employed by the company, 24 were foreigners and their target was to have 100% local pilots by next year.
The courses at APFT consist of Private Pilots Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot’s Licence with Instrument Rating (CPL/IR) and Frozen Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence.
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