Malaysia Aims To Be Regional Pilot Training Hub
He said the country was convinced that it could emerge as the main regional training hub as it had several advantages including lower training costs, closer proximity, and similar cultural and social elements.
It costs RM180,000 to train a pilot in Malaysia against RM250,000 in Australia. Malaysia is close to West Asia and China, and its social and cultural elements are not much different from those in the region.
He said there were three flying academies in the country, one each in Kota Baharu, Kelantan, Malacca and Langkawi, Kedah, and a helicopter flying school in Ipoh.
Chan said after the Sept 11 2001 tragedy, the world aviation sector experienced several changes and one of the impact was various major airlines had shifted to developing nations like Malaysia to train their pilots. This was due to the difficulties to secure a spot for pilot training in the Western countries due to tight security procedures. "In line with this, the existing flying academies in the country must grab this opportunity to attract students from outside to train here," he said.
**** Being a regional hub is well and good, as long as we don't go down in history as the country which exported the most number of pilots with a propensity to fly into tall buildings. The fact that western nations have tightened regulations is due to the real danger of arabs and other misguided people who try to enrol and learn sufficient piloting to do another 911. This is a very real hazard in opening up places to foreigners. In fact our authorities should also keep a close watch for any local jihad types who would most likely try to emulate the 'success' of their illustrious dead 'brethren'.
Better to be aware and cautious now than after our reputation goes down the chute along with some western skyscrapers.