Norwich International Airport unveils aviation academy vision

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

Shaun Lowthorpe Business editor
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
12:00 PM

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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.”

12 comments

  • Bob you say the difficulty of attracting flights and passengers is geographical. I take it you don't mind paying the sky high fare to Amsterdam for a 50 minute flight? The security staff are so bored with a lack of flights they treat every passenger as an international terrorist. I've had to wait outside immigration and customs in the pouring rain while everyone is given the third degree. The airport see's the oil industry as a honeypot and charges accordingly. If you read this and the other news item you'll see there will be no new building until at least 2016 and maybe later. A scheme for a couple of dozen apprentices is being dressed up as a major event. For me the duelling of the A11 is another reason to avoid Norwich airport along with it's development fee..

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    Michael Clintergate

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

  • Couldn't agree more Michael. The farce involved in travelling in business hours (within the UK) is simply laughable. Fly to Manchester, then onwards to GlasgowEdinburgh. Add to that the ludicrous development fee and we have the prospect of a 2 hour journey and cost of using Stanstead (which is NOT relatively proximate).

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    Col

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

  • Couldn't agree more Michael. The farce involved in travelling in business hours (within the UK) is simply laughable. Fly to Manchester, then onwards to GlasgowEdinburgh. Add to that the ludicrous development fee and we have the prospect of a 2 hour journey and cost of using Stanstead (which is NOT relatively proximate).

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    Col

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

  • The jobs are good news but it appears the airport management are more interested in running an industrial estate than serving passengers in what at the end of the day is a transport facility. I guess with passenger numbers dropping like a stone as they head for Luton and Stansted the so called development fee is spent on idea's like this.

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    Michael Clintergate

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

  • Many folk said years ago the airport should of been moved to former RAF Coltishall. Norwich does not appeal to big operators due to high landing costs, inflated fuel costs (one of the reasons FlyBe decided to pull base at Norwich and the short runway. I know one operator who tried running out of Norwich - had to takeoff with minimal fuel, land elsewhere, refuel and continue. Needless to say this farce soon wore thin. But with the bird fully laden and full of fuel it wouldn't of made it off the runway within the safe operating parameters at Norwich. And as for the money you have to pay to get into the place!!! Laughable! Not good at all.

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    Urbancommander

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

  • Totally agree, why bother with apprentices to service aircraft, which won't go anywhere from NWI anyway, they have lost the plot as far as their paying passengers are concerned, Stansted or Luton, here we come again this winter.!!

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    peter99

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

  • This is all about developing Norwich Airport as an engineering centre and nothing to do with its range of flights on offer to the public. It is pleasing to see such ambitious plans as the Aeropark and the new Academy. The airport will always struggle to attract new airlinesflights and this is mainly due to the geography of the place plus the relative proximity to Stansted and Luton.

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    Bob Hunt

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

  • They may as well go for becoming an apprentice engineering academy as they obviously don't know sod all about meeting local airport passengers needs.

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    peter99

    Saturday, September 21, 2013

  • Oh, and BTW......Cambridge Airport is now expanding. Wouldn't surprise me if they, like Southend, aren't soon offering scheduled overseas flights!

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

  • What a wonderful idea and we look forward to those concerned considering former RAF Coltishall, where we already have hangers, offices, training areas, tech areas, student accommodation, runway and an infrastructure of bespoke design for aviation. And at very little cost to all interested parties......

    Report this comment

    jaybaxter

    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

  • Totally agree with you, Michael. Norwich Airport seems to have totally lost its focus! I have just flown back to Spain and had as usual to take a 115 mile journey down to Stansted. In the last five years, since we lost all scheduled FlyBe services, I estimate I have spent £15k on flights, hotels, car hire, taxis etc. Not one penny fo which has benefitted the local economy. Norwich Airport doesn't even seem interested in re-instating these services. Yet ever since it lost scheduled international flights, its footfall has dropped by half! That ought to be enough to have persuaded the airport management that regular services are both the bread and butter of an airport and also the overwhelming demand. The airport is not serving its wider community by offering flights to Den Helder!!! All seems to point one way: the airport becoming an industrial estate!

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    malaga flier

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

  • Makes you wonder if dressing up this apprentice "thing" is just a smokescreen to take the focus off trying to screw a new radar out of the public purse.

    Report this comment

    Urbancommander

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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