The Emirates Flight Training Academy has been officially inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VP and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, during the Dubai Airshow.

Located in Dubai South, the Academy has been established by Emirates to qualify UAE nationals and international students. After first being announced at the 2011 Dubai Airshow, construction of the facility started in 2015 and earlier this year landside facilities as well as the first phase of accommodation were completed.

The first batch of cadets – part of Emirates’ UAE National Cadet training programme – have now moved into the Academy. Having previously been required to complete their flight training overseas, cadets can now complete 100% of their training in Dubai. For international cadets, the Academy will begin intakes in early 2018. When complete, the Academy will be able to accommodate up to 600 cadets at one time.

At the Academy, which is spread over an area of 164,000 square metres, cadets will progress through a training curriculum that starts with classroom-based Airline Transport Pilots License training in addition to any foundation courses required, including English language training.

During 1,100 ground-based training hours, cadets will have access to the latest technology across 36 classrooms. The curriculum at the Academy will be completely paperless and cadets will learn with highly interactive digital content on personal tablets.

Emirates Flight Training Academy has also partnered with Boeing for an integrated software system to manage cadet learning and training flight operations. In addition, learning in the classrooms will also be delivered using fully immersive Virtual Reality technology to help cadets gain a deeper understanding of the principles of flight and aircraft operation. Cadets will also gain familiarity with flight operations and will be trained to handle various scenarios with advanced simulators and various ground-based training devices.

They will first learn to fly the single-engine piston Cirrus SR22 G6 aircraft and progress to the Phenom 100EV very light jet aircraft, in variance to the regular training convention where cadets progress from single-engine piston aircraft to twin-engine piston aircraft before transitioning to jet aircraft. The Academy’s approach eliminates an additional step in cadet training and provides cadets with more experience on jet aircraft (they will gain 315 flight hours in total, including simulator flying). To enable this, the Academy has invested over US$39 million in a fleet of 27 training aircraft – 22 Cirrus SR22 G6 aircraft and five Embraer Phenom 100EV aircraft.

Cadets will graduate with a Commercial Pilot License on a multi-engine aircraft with Instrument Rating and frozen ATPL after a duration between 21 months and 3.5 years.