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New aviation school hoping to take off

In light of the announcement by Government of its plans to set up a civil aviation industry here, a new university is preparing to throw open its doors here next month in the hope of capitalizing on such a development.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY during an interview at the South Ramp of the Grantley Adams International Airport,

President of Brookside University Grace Showan said the institution plans to strictly focus on civil aviation training.
She also revealed that the school, which will initially operate out of the offices of the Civil Aviation Department, is fully owned by Barbadians, with structural engineer Grenville Phillips 11 serving as its local Chancellor.

However, Showan said all of the programmes offered by Brookside would be accredited by international universities, including Perth University of Scotland; Embry Riddle in the USA; Clinical Considerations In Air Transport in the United Kingdom; the British Council of Engineers and Cayley Aero-space Inc. in Washington DC.

She told Barbados TODAY that Brookside University would also be seeking accreditation from Barbados’ accreditation council, but said the institution would be placing more emphasis on international accreditation since the idea was to ensure that all certification issued by Brookside was globally accepted.

However, Showan said the faculty members would be drawn from both the local and expatriate community, adding that as the programmes grow the complement of lecturers would increase.

In terms of the Air Service Training Programme, the president said tutors from Perth University of Scotland would be facilitating the very important European Safety Licensing Programme.

While identifying other courses to be offered by Brookside University, Showan said it would open opportunities for Barbadians to benefit from the multi-billion dollar global civil aviation industry by exposing students to studies in Physics, Mathematics, electrical fundamentals, basic electronics, digital techniques and drones.

She went on to say that students would also benefit from courses in maintenance practices, air dynamics, the human factors in air travel, air safety management and air legislation.

Showan also said local mechanics could pursue the European Safety Programme and become qualified in aircraft maintenance.

“We have a lot of mechanics out there, even aircraft mechanics who may not have the full certification, but we at Brookside are here to assist them in becoming fully certified.”

Courses will also be available in aircraft detail design, flight dynamics and control, and laboratory work.

While leading off debate on the Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill in the House of Assembly last month, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy had pointed out that Barbados could follow the lead set by Dubai in the Middle East and establish a civil aviation industry.

Sealy told Parliament then that Barbados could capitalize on its geographical location and become a hub for air travel in the region. He added that such an industry could create jobs for the island’s youth and earn valuable foreign exchange.

He had also announced at the time that Government was setting up a Civil Aviation Authority, headed by retired pilot, Captain Keith Robertson.

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