Aviation has been expanding at a rapid pace in Qatar, and this growth is supported by the Qatar Aeronautical College, which offers high-standard qualifications in every related field.
Qatar Airways, the national-flag-carrying airline, has achieved much, with its phenomenal route expansion averaging 30% growth year to year and a 134-strong fleet of aircraft that is one of the most modern in the skies today. Qatar Airways has achieved its goal to be the best in the world, and reach the pinnacle of the airline industry for outstanding in-flight service, superior on-board products and operational excellence.
The brand new Hamad International Airport - which spans 29km2, a third of the size of the city of Doha - is now fully operational. Its 600,000m2 passenger terminal currently handles 30 million passengers a year - 8,700 an hour - and this figure will soar to 50 million within a few years.
The airport operates two runways tailored for next-generation aircraft, including the Airbus A380. Dual-runway operation enables a handling capacity of 90 aircraft an hour and 360,000 annually.
In this dynamically growing environment, all of this next-generation air travel is supported by the Qatar Aeronautical College (QAC), a certified ICAO Trainair-Plus full member. QAC is responsible for training the next generation of staff to keep Qatar's aviation running safely and smoothly.
QAC was founded in 1975 as the Civil Aviation College of the Gulf States and is now the Gulf region's leading provider of training for the aviation industry. It offers full-time approved courses for pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, air traffic controllers, meteorologists and airport operations management personnel, as well as short courses in a wide variety of aviation-related disciplines.
The department has a modern fleet of ten glass-cockpit Piper Archer III aircraft in Doha and a further four glass-cockpit Piper Seneca Vs. At the flight line are 13 dedicated and highly experienced flight instructors, along with a further 20 full-time ground instructors in a purpose-built school building. Graduates fly for major carriers throughout the Middle East and all over the world.
QAC is proud to have Qatar Airways as its prime customer, and many of the current cadets are either fully or part-sponsored by them. In the past, QAC has trained cadet pilots for Gulf Air and Oman Air. It also works very closely with its airline customers for cabin crew and flight-deck initial and recurrent training.
A 22-month full-time diploma in aviation studies leads to the issue of a Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) commercial pilot's licence with multi-engine instrument rating. Upon gaining flight experience, this license is then automatically eligible for upgrade to a QCAA airline transport pilot's licence. The flight-training programme is based on the UK CAA's integrated course of training.
The latest course of training is the multicrew pilot licence. This is conducted over a period of 20 months and is delivered in close cooperation with Qatar Airways. It is specifically designed to train suitable individuals with no previous flight experience to act as first officers (co-pilots) aboard a Qatar Airways Airbus A320.
The department's Part-147-approved training is recognised by the QCAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The courses are based on the EASA Part 66 syllabi and lead to a higher national diploma in aviation engineering. The department equips students with the required knowledge and skills to perform various functions of a B-licensed engineer in an aircraft maintenance organisation such as Qatar Airways.
The department has also developed a new air transport safety electronics personnel higher diploma course to prepare graduates to work as airport technicians on the various equipment essential at an airport, such as instrument landing systems, radar and radios. QAC has also now been approved by EASA to deliver the A1.1 licence course, primarily for Qatar Airways, with the first scheduled for October 2014.
The department is kitted out with a vast array of equipment to ensure students are familiar with all the systems and instruments of a modern aircraft and airport. Among its specific maintenance training devices and areas, the electrical workshop uses state-of-the-art computer-based training equipment.
All the ATC rating courses in the department meet or exceed the minimum requirements laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as well as being approved and regulated by the QCAA. Students have access to a state-of-the-art 3D aerodrome control simulator as well as a radar simulator that supports surveillance and non-surveillance training.
Each student has a one-to-one instructor for the hours of simulator training needed. All of the instructors are highly experienced in operational and instructional duties, and are recruited from the international community. Up-to-date training methodologies and material is used to ensure students are ready for the next generation of air traffic management.
The meteorological department is recognised by the World Meteorology Organisation and Gulf Cooperation Council. It equips students with the required knowledge and skills to perform various functions at meteorological stations, including weather observations and forecasting. The new simulator provides a dedicated environment for learning and practising weather forecasting, while an operational forecasting system works on real-time data with satellite imagery and archived data in different configurations - general, aeronautical and marine. The department also has an automatic weather station, laboratories and instruments to support the training.
Graduates of the airport operations management (AOM) diploma programme study a range of subjects covering airport operations, airport business, staff management and general aviation. The AOM department offers a range of IATA courses.
The department is dedicated to developing highly qualified operational staff prepared for quick assimilation into the air transport industry, able to perform essential operational tasks with minimum further training and subsequently progressing to airport operations supervisor and mid-level management posts in airports, airlines, national regulatory bodies, and other relevant industries throughout the region and beyond. Graduates obtain three separate diplomas under the current AOM programme, and some students opt to use these to further continue their studies.
With its vast and varied experience in supporting the aviation industry, whatever your airport, airline or aviation training need, QAT can assist you in training the next generation.