AAA students explore legal options with PILC

Addu Flying School | Photo: PSM

Addu City, Maldives – Students of the flight school established in Gan, Addu City are now looking into legal options due to the prolonged unresolved issues of AAA while expressing their concerns on social media.

Replying to a tweet expressing concerns over the AAA issues and asking as to whether a law suit can be filed against the school, Shunana Mariyam, President of Public Interest Law Center (PILC) stated that they have tried and that they can help the students only of they are willing to.

We can only help if students want to. We have meeting next week with 1 student. Have informed other students they can contact PILC if they want to pursue it.

Mariyam Shunana, PILC

MP Rozaina Adam of Addu Meedhoo Constituency urged the students to file a lawsuit and get compensation from the school.

All operations at the flying school have come to a halt since the 11th of this month with no operable aircrafts. The engineers at the facility have also resigned and departed to their countries over issues in their salary. The school has not yet informed any of the students when an aircraft at the location will be operable or when an engineer will join the school at the earliest.

The government arranged USD 200,000 of the amount required for the purchase of appliances and devices needed for the school in early March. However, according to received information, orders for the required items were placed in late March. The school even promised for an aircraft to be available within 45 days which did not happen either.

Due to the lack of operable aircrafts, the school has been allowing the students to use the simulators until 11th May. However, this has also not been possible since May 11 due to technical problems with the simulator bringing all operations at the school to a halt.

The students of AAA are currently expressing their concerns over these issues as they have not been solved for far too long. This results in increased debts of the students causing many problems for them as well as their families. The students are even requesting the government to find a solution other than AAA.

While the agreement between AAA and Gan International Airport is to expire this July, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has taken several decisions regarding the school.

The president ordered for an investigation to be carried out on Head of Pilot Training and Accountable Manager of the school over issues noted in the audit report of the Civil Aviation Authority.

In addition to this, President Solih has also decided for an investigation to be done to check whether the prolonged issues of the flying school have any irresponsibility from the Civil Aviation Authority behind them. He asked for appropriate action to be taken against those at fault. Furthermore, the president has requested for students having a Bank of Maldives loan ro change them to higher education loans given out by the Ministry.

The AAA student union has previously called out various government authorities and the parliament for their inaction in May. They said that the Gender Ministry was informed of the flying school harassing its students 3 months ago with no action being taken. While Education Minister Dr. Ibrahim Hassan promised that AAA students will be provided the opportunity to continue their education abroad, Transport Minister Aishath Nahula pledged to take action against the school for negligence towards the students, with no action being taken since by either ministry. Similarly, the parliament released a report on the problems faced with no follow up action.

AAA has been facing a series of problems for over a year. While government and parliament made promises to solve these issues, there has been no actionable solutions.