SAN FERNANDO CITY, April 18 (PIA) – The first and only flying school in the province of La Union opened its doors for the first time and showcased its facilities, products, and services as part of the Sillag Festival 2017 celebration here recently.
More than 200 visitors toured during the three-day open house activity of the Leading Edge International Aviation Academy, Inc.(LEIAAI) which enabled them a hands-on know-how on the different areas of the school such as: the simulation room where they will have a replicated solo flying experience of a plane; the hangar area where CESSNA 152, 172, and 340 planes are displayed; and the other class trainings rooms used by the students.
“This is a first in the SILLAG Festival and it will make people aware of the existence of Leading Edge and maybe they will be encouraged to enroll here,” said Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) President Felix Racadio, as he graced the ribbon-cutting ceremonies on April 7 together with Gen. Romeo Poquiz, director of Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), and tsome of the Board of Directors of PPMC.
“This is the very first time that we did this type of activity to let everyone know, especially here in the province of La Union, that we are offering training courses that can help make the dreams of pilot and aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) would-be students come true,” said Edgardo Mendoza, retired BGen. of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and president of LEIAAI.
He added, “Our enrollees mostly come from Manila, Pangasinan, and Pampanga, and I wish that applications from La Union and other northern provinces in the Ilocos and CAR regions would come in, grab the opportunity, and appreciate what is here already.”
LEIAAI is a subsidiary business of Aces Cooperative Development, Inc. Multipurpose Cooperative (ACDI MPC). The cooperative has evolved into one of the best and fast-growing cooperatives in the Philippines which offers diversified services including aviation services.
Sixty percent of the students are scholars of the cooperative. They are children of the poor and deserving Philippine Air Force (PAF) retired and still on-service members. These scholars enjoy free board and lodging, meals, transportation, and licensure exam review fees which are included in the company’s corporate social responsibility program.
The other 40 percent are walk-in applicants who are interested to finish the 10 to 12 months of pilot and two-year AMT training courses.
This year, students who are interested to enroll for the 200-hour pilot course need to be a graduate of any four-year course, must be physically fit, and is not colorblind. For AMT, an applicant must be a high school graduate of school year 2015-2016 and/or must be a senior high school graduate in 2018, following the new curriculum of the Department of Education (Deped) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Leading Edge management also has plans of introducing a fly now, pay later program.
The flying school has a total of 184 pilots and 137 AMT graduate students as of 2017 with 100 percent passing rate in the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) licensure exam.
Recently, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has released a list of the 10 highest-paying professions in the country, and aircraft pilot, navigator, and flight engineer topped the list. (JNPD/AHFF/PIA-1)