Rwanda plans to set up an aircraft hangar and centre of excellence in aviation training in Kigali, aiming to build local capacity and empower the labour force in the aviation industry, not only in Rwanda but also in the region and beyond, The New Times understands. According to an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report on the Aircraft Hangar and Centre of Excellence Aviation Training Centre Project, by Akagera Aviation, dated May 2023, the project will cost an estimated $53.5 million (approx. Rwf65 billion). It indicated that as Rwanda invests in the construction of its international airport in Bugesera and its airplane fleet, skilled personnel are required to manage, operate, and maintain these investments. ALSO READ: Bugesera airport to be completed in 2026; here are 5 things you should know Therefore, the report noted, that the African Development Bank (AfDB) will assist the government in establishing the Centre of Excellence for Aviation Skills (CEAS), which will serve as an aviation academy training centre to meet the demand for qualified human capital. The project is in line with the Government of Rwanda’s vision to develop the transportation sector by enhancing the quality and dependability of transport services while reducing costs. 1. Project objectives The aviation industry in Rwanda is experiencing rapid growth and has set its sights on becoming a leading centre for aviation excellence. As part of this goal, the objective of the proposed centre of excellence in the aviation training centre and aircraft hangar project is to provide training for pilots, maintenance staff, air traffic management personnel, and other related fields. The aircraft hangar will also serve as a shelter for airplanes and a facility for technical activities. ALSO READ: Rwanda to scale down reliance on expat pilots 2. Capacity and developer Akagera Aviation Limited (developer) plans to build an aircraft hangar at Kigali International Airport that can accommodate eight Beechcraft King Air size aircraft. They also propose the establishment of an aviation training centre of excellence, which will cater to a maximum of 490 students. ALSO READ: Rwanda’s airport among 10 best in Africa, 3rd best in region The centre of excellence will offer different aviation training/courses such as pilot training, maintenance training, cabin crew, dispatch, ancillary courses, air traffic management courses, aeronautical information services, aeronautical meteorological services, aeronautical communications operations, communication navigation, and surveillance, airport emergency services (operations), and other supporting programs. Again, the centre will partner with higher learning institutions to provide academic aviation courses. 3. Drone piloting training Given the increasing importance of drones applications in Rwanda, the centre of excellence will also provide drone piloting training along with other manned aircraft pilot training courses such as, Private Pilot License classroom (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL) training, Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), Flight Simulator Recurrent training and other advanced pilot training for specialised missions. 4. Cost and staffing Cost estimation involves predicting project expenses, including materials and labour. The project's total cost amounts to $53.5 million, divided into infrastructure and equipment expenses of $29.1 million and $24.4 million, respectively. The construction phase will require up to 1,000 workers while the operation phase takes up to 98 workers, as per the above-mentioned report. 5. Financier The proposed hangar and centre of excellence aviation training centre project will be financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The AfDB's financial support for the project is a testament to their commitment to promoting sustainable economic development and social progress in the region by investing in critical infrastructure and human capital development. 6. Construction timeframe It is estimated the construction will take a period of 24 months. Construction of the aircraft hangar and the aviation training centre of excellence will involve site fencing and managing site access and contact points, and pollution generation control and management during construction works, among others.