Discussions ongoing for Addu flying school to be run under a local college

Asian Academy of Aeronautics, based in Gan, Addu City is the only flight school in the country | Photo: AAA

Malé, Maldives – General Manager of the flying school Mohamed Fazeel has stated that discussions are currently ongoing for the flying school to be operated by a college such that the college takes responsibility for the students and operations at the school.

Giving information to local media outlet Sun, General Manager Mohamed Fazeel said that analyzing the current problems of the flying school, the best option for the Asian Academy of Aeronautics (AAA) is for the flying school to be operated under a college.

Discussions are ongoing with a Maldivian college and negotiations are taking place at a fast pace. If everything goes according to plan, the college management will meet the students and carry out the necessary formalities in the near future

General Manager Mohamed Fazeel

In addition to this, Fazeel stated that discussions are ongoing for the college to take full responsibility of all the operations at the flying school. He has not yet revealed the name of the college as it has not been finalized.

Fazeel also noted that this has not been discussed with the government either as a final decision has not yet been taken. He added that discussions with the government will proceed as soon as a college is finalised. He also said that he does not believe that the government will oppose the decision.

The flying school in Gan, Addu City is currently run by the Asian Academy of Aeronautics. Several issues with the running of the company has surfaced along with many companies from the students. Fazeel said that operationalizing the school under a college will solve these problems.

This also comes while Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation has removed the license of Addu Aeronautical Academy (AAA)’s Head of Training Suranjan De Silva effective 23 May 2021.

In their statement, the Ministry of Transport explain that the license was cancelled due to lack of accountability by the management in solving issues faced by the school and supporting the students complete their course, indefinitely prolonging the duration of their study.

The Transport Ministry also warns that if the school fails to take timely action, they will remove the license issued to AAA’s Accountable Manager Ali Akbar Jeevanji.

While the agreement between AAA and Gan International Airport is to expire this July, all operations at the flying school have come to a halt since the 11 May 2021, 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.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has made decisions regarding some of the issues of Asian Academy of Aeronautics (AAA).

The President has ordered to,

  • Investigate the Head of Pilot training and the accountable manager as per the problems noted in the audit by the Civil Aviation Authority. 
  • The Civil Aviation Authority for neglect, due to the delay in solving the AAA issues through an independent commission.
  • Transfer the student loans taken from Bank of Maldives to Ministry of Higher Education due to increasing interests.

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.

Students of AAA are now looking at legal options while MP Rozaina Adam of Addu Meedhoo Constituency urged the students to file a lawsuit and get compensation from the school.