Formerly known as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre, The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology is a higher education institute in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. It is funded by the Civil Aviation Department in the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Aviation and is regarded as the largest college of aviation in Africa.
Its vision is
“To maintain the prestigious position of the foremost aviation training institution in Africa and be amongst the best in the world.” Its Mission is “to consistently provide the aviation industry with professionals and other personnel through training and related services for safe transportation in accordance with international standards.”
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The idea of a centre for aviation training in Nigeria was first mooted at an International Forum, the 12th International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly, held in San Diego, California, USA, in 1959. The Federal Government of Nigeria then formally requested the United Nations Development Programme to appoint an expert to assess the actual requirements for the setting up of a Civil Aviation Training Centre in Nigeria. The report of the project was approved in 1963, and a bill establishing a Centre for Civil Aviation Training at Zaria, Nigeria, was passed by the Federal Legislature on 29th September 1964 and signed into law on October 23, 1964.
The Centre was established as a joint programme between the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This joint programme of assistance from the UNDP and ICAO came to an end on 31st December 1974 and the Federal Government of Nigeria assumed full responsibility for the continued management and operation of the College.
The school was established in 1964 and has a fleet of about 26 training aircraft. These consist of 14 single-engine TAMPICO TB9, 5 single TRINIDAD TB20, 3 twin-engine Beech 58, 2 BELL 206 Helicopters, a B737 aircraft for cabin crew training and 1 TBM 850 aircraft for flight training. As of 2010, about 6,500 students had graduated from the college, which offers courses in flying, aircraft maintenance, air traffic control and aeronautical telecommunications.
The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, (formerly known as Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre) was set up by Act. No 31 of 1964 (as amended), to conduct:
- Civil Aviation courses for use in flight training or airport operations & management as may be prescribed from time to time.
- Training of approved persons in the installation, maintenance and operation, as the case may be, of technical equipment, the use of which is calculated or likely to increase the margin of operational safety of civil aircraft.
- Training on equipment and necessary facilities for technical research or normal use.
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In 1977, the Board of Governors of the College recommended to the Federal Government a change of name from NIGERIAN CIVIL AVIATION TRAINING CENTER (NCATC) to NIGERIAN COLLEGE OF AVIATION TECHNOLOGY (NCAT), in anticipation of the expansion of training and related activities. Official approval did not come until 1986 when the Government issued a White Paper on the “Report of the Fact-Finding Panel into the Activities of the Civil Aviation Department in the Federal Ministry of Aviation”. The change of name was reflected in Decree No. 41 of 1990.
The World Bank tendered for a study on equipment, infrastructure and training needs for the college in November 2008, a preliminary step before allocating funding. As of 2009 although the college undertook initial training of commercial pilots, courses in learning to fly new aircraft types and refresher courses were mostly done outside Nigeria.
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