Ghana’s first Commercial Pilot Training School, Mish Aviation Flying School would soon graduate its first set of 16 Pilots.

Out of the 16, seven trained for Private Pilot Licenses (PPL), while nine went for the full Commercial Pilot Licenses (CPL), which means they could be hired and paid to fly any of the international flights across the world.

The nine CPL holders included one Ghanaian, Selorm Koblah Santino Adadevoh, who happened to be Ghana’s first ever locally-trained Commercial Pilot with Instrument and Multi-engine rating. The 15 others were all Nigerians.

It cost up to US$90,000 to train for CPL at Mish Aviation, but the Director of the fully-certified privately-owned aviation school, Flight Captain Ibrahim Mshelia told ADOMBUSINESS it could be a lot cheaper for students if government could support the school.

He noted that 70 per cent of the cost of training pilots goes into AV Gas (Aviation Gasoline), which is imported from the United States, so “if government can equip the local refinery to refine AV Gas in Ghana then it can make it a lot cheaper for more people to afford and obtain full Commercial Pilot Licenses (CPL) right here in Ghana,” he said.

Capt. Mshelia also noted that another major cost factor was the importation of Flight Instructors from abroad since not many Ghanaian pilots are certified as ab initio Flight Instructors, adding that “if government can also take up some interest in the school in form of partnership and absorbs especially the wages and remuneration of the Flight Instructors that will also reduce the cost of training drastically for aspiring the students.”

Neighboring Nigeria has had a fully-fledged state-owned Aviation School since 1964, but Ghana does not have one yet; and none of the universities in the country trains pilots.

But Capt. Mshelia said even though he trained in Nigeria, he worked in Ghana for years after completing aviation school, so Ghana has become his second home, and that partially informed the decision to establish the school, believed to be worth millions of dollars, at Tema Community 22 in Ghana.

“Ghana was also an easy choice because flying is done in English and we needed an English-speaking country apart from Nigeria – Ghana was most central in the sub-region and the relative political stability and growing economy plus the other friendly conditions such as some incentives for establishing a school here and the co-operation of the industry regulators made Ghana an even more easy choice for us,” he said.

He said: “The school may be privately owned, but in reality, the success will always be for Ghana and that’s why now the information that has gone round the world is that Ghana is now training pilots locally and that is good for the country.”