Fiji’s National Airline, Fiji Airways, has embarked on a $FJ67 million dollar development to enhance the Fiji Airways Aviation Academy (FJAA) based in Namaka, Nadi.
This Phase II (a) investment will see the addition of Airbus A350 and ATR-600 series Full Flight Simulators, and Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A330 Flight Training Devices.
The Academy buildings will be expanded with the addition of a fourth simulator bay and repurposing of some existing training rooms to create a dedicated facility for fixed base training devices.
“This is a significant step in the growth of FJAA, enhancing the Academy’s flight crew training facilities and enabling us to conduct all of Fiji Airways and Fiji Link pilot training in house, resulting in improved pilot productivity and more cost savings in flight crew training.
“By July 2024, the academy will house four full flight simulators covering all of Fiji Airways fleet types, and four fixed base synthetic training devices,” said company Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Andre Viljoen.
All technical assessment and training in-house from initial assessment of potential cadets through to type rating and recurrent training of pilots will then be conducted in-house.
A following Phase II (b) development currently in planning for 2025 will include dedicated, fully equipped cabin crew safety and service training facilities, with the capability to perform all aspects of this training, additional office accommodation for staff based at the Academy, uniform boutique, grooming salon, demonstration flight kitchen, and cafeteria facilities.
Once these enhancements are complete, the Academy will become a fully-fledged aviation training facility with a range of equipment for pilot, engineer and cabin crew training, and will offer a range of other aviation-related training to Fiji Airways staff and third parties.
“FJAA has already resulted in the National Airline saving $FJ19 million annually. We no longer have to send our pilots overseas for long periods of time to undergo training and re certification. With these new investments, our savings will only improve,” added Viljoen.
He adds that Fiji Airways plans to actively market FJAA to other airlines as the preferred commercial aviation training destination in the Pacific, competing for a share of a vibrant airline training market.
A further Phase III development planned for 2026 will add accommodation for visiting airline crews and other overseas delegates, a restaurant, lap pool, and gymnasium.