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OAA

OMAN - Transport

Abdullah Bin Murad Al Balushi

CEO, Oman Aviation Academy (OAA)

Bio

Abdullah Bin Murad Al Balushi is CEO of Oman Aviation Academy (OAA).

"OAA is a training organization that provides aviation training, mainly for pilots."
With the local aviation sector rapidly, OAA plays a key role in not only training new pilots, but also ensuring they remain up to date in terms of new technologies in the sector.
Can you give us an overview of OAA’s achievements since its inception?

OAA is a training organization that provides aviation training, mainly for pilots. The academy was founded in 2018, and it has been through different phases. During the pandemic, when activities slowed down, we had to look at many things from a different perspective and develop future strategies of how the business would move forward, taking into consideration the numerous factors that affect us. The pandemic provided important lessons for all industries, especially aviation. OAA has been through many phases, from the establishment phase, when the infrastructure and facilities were conducted and built, to the approvals stage, which are related to the approvals from the Omani Civil Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). We have trained almost 100 students and expect to have more students join the academy in the coming years. In addition, OAA, as a training organization, seeks to expand to also provide training to the military. We would also like to expand regionally in the future. We need to have a diversity of training that can sustain us in difficult times, given that the aviation industry is extremely susceptible to many developments, whether locally, or geopolitical, or so on.

What innovative technologies are you currently exploring or deploying in your operations?

In the aviation industry, technology makes a significant difference. Overall, we are talking about technologies that are implemented in new aircraft that pilots need to know about. There is also a great deal of technology that goes into training. This is something that we are looking at carefully. The aviation sector’s training devices are highly controlled by the Civil Aviation Authority whereby the equipment must be certified to certain levels and meet certain demands or criteria. In addition, we are exploring new technologies such as VR training simulators that are new to the market but growing rapidly. Another learning from the pandemic is to develop more efficient online training systems. With technologies, we can develop better and more attractive ways of delivering training programs rather than using the normal methodologies in conventional training. Together with our international partners, we provide our students with materials and state-of-the-art technology for various training purposes. We are definitely focusing on technology and new innovations in the market while taking into consideration our own competitive advantages compared to other training organizations in the region.

Where would you like to see the OAA in the short and medium term?

As a newly established organization, we seek to position ourselves in the market, which is highly demanding for the aviation sector. The aviation sector is also growing rapidly. Our vision of growth is for OAA to be a hub providing the best and highest-quality training in the region. We would like to position ourselves as one of the leading training organizations in the aviation sector in the region. Looking at the markets surrounding us, we have many competitive advantages that place us in a great position, such that we can establish ourselves within the region in the next five to 10 years. Part of this includes a larger investment in human capital, which are our main assets. In parallel, we are working closely to develop local expertise and train them to the level and standards that we want them to be. In the long term, they will be able to gather extensive expertise over time. The market is promising, and we foresee growth in airlines. Despite the pandemic and other challenges in the airline industry, there continues to be demand for pilots, and we expect the aviation industry to pick up soon.

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