Local December 11, 2023 | 8:16 am

Dominican Republic launches pilot training initiative to meet growing aviation demand

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic’s burgeoning commercial aviation sector necessitates a dual focus on ensuring air traffic safety and nurturing human talent, including a plan to train 300 new pilots over the next five years. This was emphasized by Héctor Porcella, Director General of the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC), during a session for the “I Want to Be a Pilot” contest. This initiative aims to spark Dominican youth’s interest in aviation, a globally in-demand and well-paid career.

Porcella, referencing estimates from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), noted that the industry will require 500,000 new pilots in the next two decades to match its global growth. IDAC prioritizes strengthening operational safety and training human talent, particularly through the Higher Academy of Aeronautical Sciences (ASCA).

The “I Want to Be a Pilot 2023” contest, produced by El Nuevo Diario with support from IDAC and other entities, initially attracted 173 applicants, aged 18-30, who underwent a rigorous selection process. The contest, aimed at selecting deserving winners, is part of a broader effort to expand aviation training opportunities.

Journalist and air traffic controller Olga Pérez, who co-produced the event, stated that its goal is to foster youth interest in aviation and raise awareness about the need for financial support in training essential talent for civil aviation, a crucial sector for tourism, trade, and the general populace.

Pilot training is highly demanding and costly, often exceeding $50,000 for a commercial pilot certification. This expense limits access for many Dominican youths, as most lack the necessary funds and credit history for loans.

During a break in flight simulator training at the ASCA, Porcella expressed his commitment to supporting this initiative beyond its current edition. He was joined by ASCA Director Clara Fernández and IDAC’s Communications Director, Luis José Chávez.

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