Asir flying school to boost tourism
Two sports aviation professionals in Asir have launched an initiative to provide opportunities to more than 10,000 people annually to learn how to fly.
Capt. Abdulbari Al-Abdullah Asiri and Capt. Musfir Al-Sariee have started the “Sport Aviation School” in Asir which aims “to provide flight training to those who desire to become professional pilots or who wish to take up flying as a hobby,” they explained.
Asiri said the school offers flight awareness programs and training in sports aviation as per the specifications of the Saudi Aviation Club and issues sports pilot licenses based on the club’s conditions. He said the program also offers training and certification in light aircraft maintenance in coordination with flight manufacturing companies.
The school also offers opportunities to license holders from the Saudi Aviation Club or outside the Kingdom to hone their skills, he said.
Currently the school has two German and Italian-made aircraft and equipment worth more than SR1 million. It is currently seeking to purchase an additional German-made CTLS plane, which is estimated to cost up to SR600,000.
“The involvement of businessmen and investors in this field will assist in realizing our goal of attracting those youth who are interested and serious about learning flight skills, he explained.
He added that he was confident that there would be a good response from the domestic and regional markets, especially in the summer when people would like to participate in the Aviation Forum and attend the training programs available.
Asiri said that trainees are given the opportunity to learn to fly above the Asir region, taking in the natural scenery and the fresh air. They would also be able to take advantage of the different training facilities in the area, he added.
The Saudi Aviation Club was launched based on a ministerial decree as a nonprofit organization that encourages and provides flight training and knowledge, and solicits participation from the public in this field. The club, headed by Prince Sultan bin Salman, coordinates with a number of local flight training schools throughout the Kingdom to offer programs to its more than 2,700 registered members.
In light of the increasing interest in air sports in the Kingdom, particularly in Asir, various programs provide training in flying aircraft, paragliding, helicopters and even remote control planes. Flights between clubs have also supported sustainable tourism in the region.
According to Asiri, increased marketing and exhibitions in the Gulf, combined with access to additional aircraft, will help provide more extensive training courses and expand opportunities for those interested in acquiring flight skills.