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This line of thinking is definitely the most expensive as acquisition cost of the new type of aircraft may be too high to bear right away in addition to type -training expenses for the flying instructors and engineers.
On the whole, the government needs to do more than what it is currently doing to support the training of our future pilots.
For any airlines paying less than N1.3m per month per airline captain, there is every tendency that another airline will offer more pay, and snatch pilots from the least paying company.
This is the current trend in aviation industry in Nigeria.
The main issue is not the situation but what the future holds for the industry, if the government is not looking at the best way to alleviate this problem.
We say that it is up to the airlines to fend for themselves, but the resultant effects could truncate the whole industry whereby crews’ workload would increase, and the risk of fatigue which could cause major aircraft accidents would resurface in the country.
Today, it is quite hopeless to give any time _frame_ for the utilisation of foreign pilots in Nigeria.
Prior to this dilemma, foreign pilots were limited to six months of stay in Nigeria, especially for wet leased aircraft.
Other airlines like Bellview and Virgin, even Arik are currently engaging foreign crews to help out the situation.The biggest setbacks in the industry for available pilots are the demise of Nigeria Airways, the mandatory retirement age of 62 years, and of course, in the past, lack of regular pilot training program at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, until the arrival of the current leadership of the college. Bayo Araba, in less than 18 months in office, has trained young pilots to graduation stages.While commercial pilot program takes about 24 months to accomplish (all things being equal), the cost of training a pilot in Nigeria has risen to over N5.0 million because of fuel costs, instructors’ remunerations and supporting aircraft spares.The first question in our minds should stem from finding out some of the reasons responsible for the shortage of pilots in Nigeria, although the number of airlines has decreased over the years.There is acute shortage of airline pilots world wide and most airlines around the world are poaching crews from every where to augment demand necessities.