Bahrain to build new hangar for aviation students
Manama, May 15, 2013
Bahrain will build a BD6 million ($15.8 million) hangar, which will offer work to 350 trainee aviation engineers and technicians following the closure of Gulf Technics, an aviation research and repair facility, said a top official.
Transportation Minister Kamal Ahmed told MPs that Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company had put Gulf Technics into voluntary liquidation because studies showed the original plans for a BD26 million hangar were unprofitable, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
MPs who have taken up their case summoned Ahmed to parliament yesterday to answer questions about their fate.
"I agree with everything MPs have said about Gulf Technics and the problems its students and employees were facing with the liquidation decision - after just three years of operations," Ahmed told MPs.
"We can't go into the intentions of those behind the idea to open Gulf Technics because they saw a strong future for it during the planning stage, but studies presented by the same consultant SH&E recently showed the opposite.
"Either we speak about the problem or look into solutions. We have suggested opening of a BD6m hanger under national carrier Gulf Air.
"It will be a small department that will generate 200 jobs, with the lowest pay being BD1,000, until we decide to expand it as a separate hanger company."
Ahmed is politically responsible for Mumtalakat - Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund - and he promised that students of Gulf Aviation Academy (GAA) supported by Tamkeen, who were due to work at Gulf Technics, would be found work.
"We like the idea of having aircraft maintained here rather than being sent to Jordan, Singapore or the UAE," he said.
"But things have to be done in a smaller hangar rather than the original valued at BD26 million. Students funded by Tamkeen will be employed in the new hangar, besides those original employees of Gulf Technics."
The GDN reported last week that students training to be aviation technicians and engineers might have to ditch their dreams of working in the aerospace industry - three years after embarking on their courses.
Around 350 students signed up for courses at GAA, which started in 2010 as part of a BD4.8 million programme funded by Tamkeen. – TradeArabia News Service