Kathmandu, January 15
ALAS Group, a company based in Denmark, has expressed an interest to establish Approved Training Organisation (ATO) — an aviation training centre — in the country.
While the government recently announced its plan to establish its own flying school, the ALAS Group has come up with its concept of establishing ATO in Nepal, focusing primarily on pilot and cabin crew training.
The company recently held a discussion with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) for the aforementioned purpose, informed Nabin Shrestha, the Nepal-based manager of the company.
“We shared our concept with the government in an informal meeting,” he said, “Hopefully we will be holding a formal meeting very soon.”
Both the MoCTCA and CAAN have given a positive response towards the project, he added.
Meanwhile, Dustin Paul Wilden, chairman of ALAS Group, said that the plan hinges on the company receiving approval from the concerned authorities.
As per him, the company has a plan of investing double-digit million dollars for the project. “However, it depends on the requirements of CAAN,” Wilden said.
“We have to hold a formal meeting with CAAN regarding the requirements that we need to fulfil before we can be certain on how much we will be investing,” he added.
According to him, the ATO will provide training not only to Nepali students but also to students from other South Asian countries.
“As the global aviation industry is growing rapidly and Nepal is still in the initial phase of aviation development, this is a good opportunity for us to expand our business,” he said, adding, “And surely it will help Nepal to produce skilled aviation human resources locally at low cost.”
As per Wilden, the ATO will provide both theoretical and practical trainings to the students.
It has to be noted that prior to this, a pilot training centre in Nepal had shuttered as it could not provide practical training.
“We have our own aircraft and regional airports are being constructed in the country. Thus, there won’t be any issue for ATO operation,” Wilden said.
“However, the government has to support us at the policy level.”
A version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.