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Aviation Studies in Nepal: Aviotrace Nepal

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In a country, where people are limited with the knowledge that flying in the sky is only associated with the piloting, Aviotrace Nepal has come into spotlight to broaden this minuscule understanding. Located in the Pepal Bot Marg, Old Baneshwor, Aviotrace Nepal School of Technology is a co-location of Swiss company; Aviotrace Swiss that offers Aviation Management, Air Hostess, Cabin Crew and Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Courses.

For the first time in South Asia, the institution is offering EASA PART 66 CAT B 1.1,CAT B1.3 and CAT B2 classes and examinations. The more exciting part of this institution is that, it features Jetstream 41 aircraft in its compound to ensure practical learning. Diwas Pokhrel is the co founder and general manager of Aviotrace Nepal whereas Luca Curcio is the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) approved 147 instructor and examiner.

Glocal Khabar had a very captivating interview with them to highlight the status, possibilities and problems of aviation in Nepal. Here are some snippets:

Glocal Khabar: Since you have been in the aviation sector for a very long time, please share us the present status of aviation in our country. What are the possible opportunities for our youths ?

Mr. Pokhrel: It’s exciting to know that Nepalese youths are one of the most enthusiastic students who live up in the dream to fly high. Our society also values and respects the professions in this field. Aviation not only helps the youths to travel around the world, but also helps them to develop the feeling of responsibilities to prosper the country. There are new courses that is getting introduced in the country. For example, it’s really appreciable that the Pulchowk Campus has now introduced the Aeronautical Engineering for the first time. Likewise, right now, Nepal is developing in the fastest rate. There are so many projects regarding the construction of more international airports in the country. So, there is no doubt that more job opportunities are lying in the future path of the students. However, despite of the opportunities, if we look at the other side of the lane, our country is not able to provide other relevant, diversified and qualitative education in it’s own land. Students still need to go foreign land to pursue the education because the available college and interested students’ ratio is not matching. So, the main matter of concern in the present time is the lack of national educational institutions.

Glocal Khabar: Could you please share us the problems in this sectors along with the possible solutions?

Mr. Pokhrel: Now, here comes the core point. Most of the youths are not guided properly which creates a gap between a paper degree and the actual jobs. After investing a huge amount in their studies, there are so many Nepali youngsters who go abroad for pilot studies and after they return back to Nepal, they find no jobs at all. Same thing is happening in aeronautical engineering. The reason behind this is that we don’t know what precisely and exactly do we need to work in any airline. Due to lack of knowledge about national licensing rules and regulations, their opportunities are shield in a glass jar, where they can only see the chance , but cannot clutch it. For this, the prime knowledge we need to have is on aviation legislation. As per civil aviation authority, you should know the objectives, requirements, then you need to think wisely whether to take step in it or not. To work in any airline as a certified engineer, you should have the authorized license by the local authority. But unfortunately, before joining this course, people don’t know about such procedures. This is totally enclosed. As a results, students face lots of trouble in their career.

Glocal Khabar: Aviotrace has a new concept about Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Courses. How different is it from the actual Aeronautical Engineering?

Mr. Pokhrel: These two are totally different abstractions. Aeronautical Engineering (AE) is related to aircraft designing and studying the aerodynamic performance of aircraft and construction material. Whereas, Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) deals with the safety, security and maintenance of an aircraft. Even if you look at the duration, AE is a four year degree course but AME is a two year license program.

Glocal Khabar: The courses that Aviotrace is providing is quite new for Nepalese Market. So what is the instant elbow room after the completion of this course? And what is your stances about female participation in this field?

Mr. Curcio: It’s the European licence. So, the biggest advantage of this course is that you don’t have to rely on Nepal as a homeground. Students can apply jobs in any part of the Europe or the Middle East. And the long term salary is spare than the initial investment for the studies. The salary for fresher AME is 6 to 10 lakhs per annum. And talking about the other part of the question, if we look at the whole spectrum of aviation, there is comparatively less participation of females especially in the technical fields. However, we can’t deny that females are actively involved in the managerial aspects of this field. Since the concept is new, we are genuinely looking forward for more females to get engage in this course and boost the women empowerment in aviation.

By: Ruby Shah