Norwich International Airport unveils aviation academy vision

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 September 2013

Exhibition of the Norwich Aeropark expansion plans on display at Norwich International Airport. Chief Executive Andrew Bell. Photo: Steve Adams

Exhibition of the Norwich Aeropark expansion plans on display at Norwich International Airport. Chief Executive Andrew Bell. Photo: Steve Adams


Bosses at Norwich airport are today set to unveil a major initiative to promote highly-skilled apprenticeships in the aviation industry.

Norwich International Airport has teamed up with KLM UK Engineering, its largest tenant operator to develop its Aviation Academy to be based at the airport site, which would see up to 40 apprentices training at any given time.

The academy is seen as crucial to the future expansion of the airport and comes on the back of the airport’s aeropark project which could create 1,400 new jobs.

Backers of the plan include the University of East Anglia, the TEN Group, New Anglia local enterprise partnership, EAGIT Partners hope that the academy will inspire individuals to become highly skilled in their chosen field and be ready to take on leadership and expert roles in the aviation community throughout the world.

Through creating a ‘real world’ learning environment that includes a full size aeroplane and using innovative teaching techniques, the Academy seeks to raise the standards of learning within the aviation industry, while offering a broad education that will attract both local and international students.

Andrew Bell, chief executive of Norwich International Airport, said: “One of the Airport’s core strategic objectives is to become a thriving centre of excellence in the aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul business. This objective is core to the airport’s long term sustainability for the benefit of the region, at a time when many regional airports across Europe are struggling and some are closing their doors for good. To achieve this objective the Airport must be able to offer the complete package to attract new business.”

Paul Chun, managing director of KLM UK Engineering, said: “I am very excited about the Norwich International Aviation Academy, it will position Norwich firmly on the aviation industry map. To interest future generations for jobs in aviation is crucial for a sustainable growth for our industry”.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith said: “This is a good move and very important for Norwich. As founder of Norwich For Jobs, which is backed by KLM UK Engineering and 50 other firms so far, I strongly support the proposals for an aeropark which could create thousands of jobs in the local economy. To do that, we need more skilled engineers and the aviation academy will show we can do this in Norwich.”

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