Dubai, December 10, 2018 - The Saudi National Company of Aviation (SNCA), a CAE Authorized Training Center, has selected Diamond Aircraft twin DA42-VI and single DA40 NG for its training center. The agreement will compromise 60 airplanes over a five-year period. Delivery of the first 12 aircraft will start February 2019. The DA40 NG and the DA42-VI represent the newest versions of Diamond’s technology leading piston aircraft fleet, the first certified general aviation piston aircraft to combine modern technology airframes, avionics and power plants. The aircraft are equipped with efficient, clean and reliable jet-fuel piston Austro engines and Garmin G1000 NXi avionics systems, representing the very best of modern piston aircraft technology. “We are proud to be SNCA’s choice of training aircraft for the establishment of their new flight training organization,” says Amila Spiegel, Sales & Marketing Director Diamond Aircraft Austria. “The commitment of another reputable big flight school to our airplanes and flight training solution proves we are meeting the demands of flight training organisations worldwide. We are the only manufacturer who offers a full range of modern, safe, efficient and reliable single and twin engine aircraft, along with proprietary jet-fuel piston engines and professional high fidelity Diamond Simulation flight training devices.” “This purchase agreement is one of the largest in history of aviation academies in Saudi Arabia and perhaps the Middle East region. It also marks a new era of aviation training in The Kingdom which is well aligned with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision. SNCA is determined to provide the aviation industry with highly qualified male and female pilots who will be part of the development of our aviation industry and serve as an integral tool for development in the region. We have carefully selected Diamond aircraft because of their well-known reputation of safety and efficiency. We are confident that our choice of partnership with Diamond will guarantee our young trainee cadets the best possible learning experiences,” says Anthony Miller, director of global business Development at SNCA. About SNCA The Saudi National Company of Aviation (SNCA), a CAE Authorized Training Center, was established to provide high quality training for young cadets and equipping them with the latest methodologies using latest equipment. Saudi Arabia, specifically, and the Middle East region, in general, is facing a significant shortfall in airline pilots both now and in the immediate future. The academy aims at facing this shortfall by providing the Saudi and Gulf region with qualified pilots that, not only are highly qualified, but also meet the specific requirements for airlines in the region. The Center has already begun its operation in the Foundation Year program with an excess of 400 students; the first batch of young cadets is expected to complete the program and graduate in 2020. At the 2017 Dubai Air Show, the Saudi National Company of Aviation (SNCA) and CAE announced a collaboration agreement for the creation of a CAE Authorized Training Centre in the region. Under the terms of the agreement, CAE will provide the authorized training center in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the key elements for world-class cadet training such as commercial pilot license curriculum and courseware, the training of staff and instructors, and safety and quality control systems. The new CAE Authorized Training Centre is funded by the Saudi National Company of Aviation (SNCA) and will be located at King Fahad International Airport, Dammam, in a dedicated 40,000 square meter site.
Flying around the world is a fun activity, for passengers as well as pilots. But are all airports fun for pilots? Or do some pilots find dangerous runways challenging? Some airports comprise very dangerous runways, so much so that only experienced pilots are allowed to land there. This is usually not a choice, but a necessity. Sometimes natural elements around the airport do not allow for building a standard runway, so an unusual one is built instead. Let’s take a look at some of the most dangerous runways in the world. Lukla Airport, Nepal Also known as Tenzing–Hillary Airport, Lukla Airport has been rated as the most dangerous airport to land in for almost 20 years. This airport is where people start the climb to Mount Everest Base Camp. Daily flights between Lukla and Kathmandu are available, but the catch is that planes only fly during daylight hours when weather permits. Even though the flying distance is short, there are high chances of rain, clouds and high winds because the airport lies in a very high location between mountains. The significant low visibility due to weather elements often mean delayed flights, the airport gets closed a lot for the same reasons as well. The airport comprises one 527 meter runway. This single runway is book-ended by a mountain and a drop. Because of all these extreme circumstances, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has set some requirements for landing in the airport. To land in the airport pilots must be: Experienced, completed at least 100 short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) missions. Have over one year of STOL experience in Nepal. Completed ten missions into Lukla with a certified instructor pilot. Courchevel Airport, France A 525 meter runway that has a downward gradient of 18.5% and is surrounded by high mountains and low valleys, this is definitely one of the most dangerous runways in the world. This small airport is nestled in a quaint French town amidst the Alps. The runway has no instrument approach procedure or lighting aids, which makes landing in anything but perfect weather absolutely impossible. Furthermore, often times aircraft take off from the edge of the cliff as the runway is too short to gain enough speed for takeoff. Paro Airport, Bhutan Located in a deep valley on the bank of the river Paro Chhu, and surrounded by peaks as high as 5,500 meters, Paro Airport is considered one of the most dangerous airports to land in. Flights to and from the airport are only allowed during daylight hours, and under extreme supervision. As this airport, which lies amidst the Himalayan Mountains, comprises one of the most dangerous runways in the world, only a few experienced pilots with specialized training are allowed to land there. Toncontin Airport, Honduras Rated as one of the most dangerous airports to land in, Toncontin Airport is located near a mountainous terrain and comprises a very short runway. In 2009 however, work has been done to increase the length of the runway. Unfortunately though, nothing can be done to the difficult weather conditions as the airport is situated at an elevation of 1,005 meters. Gibraltar International Airport, Gibraltar The main road in the city, Winston Churchill Avenue, has to be closed every time a plane lands or departs as it intersects with the airport runway. In addition to that, the location of the airport makes it exposed to strong cross winds and makes landing in bad weather very difficult if not impossible. Both reasons make this one of the most challenging runways in the world. For more about airport runways see also: The most impressive airport runways around the world
No doubt that the kingdom is rapidly developing, especially regarding women rights. Saudi women are now driving and pursuing many careers that were deemed male only jobs until a few years ago. However, that was not always the case, and certainly not during the time when Hanadi Al Hindi was born. And yet, despite the community at the time believing it to be a man job, Hanadi Zakaria Al Hindi became a captain pilot. Let’s take a look at the career of this extraordinary woman, a woman who believes that the sky is the limit. Early dream Born in Mecca in September 1978, The Saudi pilot says that it was her father’s dream to see her become a pilot and that she couldn’t have accomplished what she did without his love and support. “I remember one time at the Jeddah Corniche when I was younger, my father saw an airplane and said, ‘would you like to be pilot?’ but I did not take him seriously. Then he told me if I want it, he will help me accomplish it,” Hanadi Al Hindi. And as there wasn’t a proper aviation academy in the Kingdom that accepted female students at the time, Hanadi had to study abroad. Early career Hanadi did some training after getting her private license in 2001. In 2013, she received a commercial pilot license from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA). By receiving it, Hanadi Zakaria Al Hindi became the first Saudi woman to successfully obtain a such a license in Saudi Arabia. After receiving her official license, she started her career as a pilot with the Kingdom Holding Company. When asked repeatedly by the media why she did not accept an offer to fly with an airline abroad, Hanadi said that she believed she had a vocation to help pave the way for other Saudi women who want to become pilots. Present career Hanadi has got a 10 year old contract flying private jets for Kingdom Holding Company. She also gives aviation related lectures and works as an aviation instructor in several esteemed establishments. In addition to that, she has become an international advocate for women’s rights. Hanadi Al Hindi is an internationally 'looked up to' woman. She believed she could be whatever she wants so she did. She has stated recently after Saudi Women received the right to drive cars that she really believes in Vision 2030, she absolutely trusts that flying planes will be a normal career choice for women soon. Bright future Nowadays, with aviation schools such as SNCA, a CAE Authorized Training Centre opening their doors to both male and female students, the future for female pilots in Saudi Arabia looks brighter than ever. What was once an impossible dream is currently a realistic goal, a goal that a student needs only to work on to achieve. Hanady may be the first Saudi woman to become a captain pilot, but many others will soon follow. The sky is the limit for Saudi women right now. "Pioneers face many challenges and obstacles, but we are paving the way for future generations,” Hanadi Al Hindi.
An airport is a place in where airplanes start and end their flights. It offers takeoff and landing runways in addition to many extensive facilities and services. Nowadays international airports are considered the main gate to almost all countries. If we look back though, what is the oldest international airport in the world? When was it built? And is still in operation? Let’s take a look at the five oldest international airports in the world. 1- College Park Airport, USA Popularly known as the ‘cradle of aviation’, this airport was established in 1909. It was founded to serve as an airport for the first government owned airplane in the United States, as well as a training location for the first pilots. Wilbur Wright was the first person to use this airport to train two military officers in the US Army how to fly the first American airplane. The airport extends over 28 hectares and features one 2,600 foot long runway. However it can provide parking space for around 100 airplanes. In 1911, civilian aircraft began flying from College Park Airport, making it the oldest international airport in the world. In 1977, the airport was added to the National Register of Historic Places. A museum was added to the airport in 1981, it features aviation exhibits and houses lectures and workshops. 2- Hamburg Airport, Germany Established in 1911, Hamburg is the oldest international airport in the world that still operates today. This historical airport underwent extensive renovation between 2001 and 2009 to become one of the most modern airports in Germany. The original facility only covered 440,000 square meters, now though, the airport expands over 5.7 square kilometers. It features two runways, both capable of handling an Airbus A380 which is the largest airplane in the world. 3- Aurel Vlaicu Airport, Romania In 1909, French pilot and aviation pioneer Louis Blériot carried out the first flights in this airport. This makes this airport the oldest international airport in Europe. The terminal building was opened in 1952. Featuring a central dome with three distinct wings which represents an airplane propeller with three blades, the building is considered as one of the finest architectural features of Bucharest and one of its key landmarks. Currently though, due to lack of expansion area, the airport only serves as a business airport for chartered air flights and private jets. 4- Rome Ciampino Airport, Italy Established in 1916, Ciampino Airport is one of the oldest international airports still in operation. This airport was Rome's main airport until 1961 when Leonardo da Vinci Airport was opened. The airport underwent extensive renovation in 2007 and the terminal facilities were extended. Now it serves as the main airport for low cost carriers. And because of the fast growth in low cost aviation, the airport is now one of the busiest in Italy in term of passenger capacity. 5- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands AMS hosted its first civilian aircraft in 1920; nonetheless, it was founded in 1916 as a military airport; which makes it one of the oldest airports still in operation in the world. Not only is this airport still in operation, but it also is the main airport for the Netherlands and one of the busiest airports in Europe by passenger movement. For more about airports see also: The largest airport in the world: Middle Eastern airports that set records The most impressive airport runways around the world
A common occurrence during air travel, turbulence may be scary or nauseating for passengers but most of the time it is just a normal non-dangerous event. But what is the meaning of turbulence? Why does it happen? And when is it considered dangerous? Turbulence is mainly caused by weather changes; wind and pressure are the major reasons behind it. Most of us already know that. But how and why does it occur? We will try to answer these questions here and learn the true meaning of turbulence and the reasons behind it. Is turbulence dangerous? The first thing you should be aware of is that turbulence is a normal occurrence in air travel. Just like you meet some bumps on the road while you drive, a plane meets some air bumps while it flies in the air. So even though turbulence is the number one concern for many travelers, it almost never puts the aircraft in jeopardy. We have to admit that it makes passengers uncomfortable many times though. So the number one fact is that turbulence is more of a convenience issue than a safety one. Turbulence meaning Simply put, turbulence is a coverall term for instability in the air in which the plane is flying that can be caused by many reasons. Types of turbulence Clear Air Turbulence Air moves in river like formations called jet streams. They are very strong air corridors found at high altitudes. They form between the boundaries of warm and cold air. Flight planners try to either use or avoid these streams to save fuel, but sometimes running through one is unavoidable. This kind of turbulence may be annoying to passengers but it is normal. There is nothing to worry about. Thermal turbulence When cold air meets a warm surface it forms vertical currents of air. And when an aircraft passes through these vertical currents it experiences some turbulence. As clear air turbulence, this kind is also normal and possesses no danger to the aircraft, just some mild discomfort to the passengers and crew. Mechanical turbulence This type of turbulence is caused by the interference of tall structures on the horizontal flow of air. This includes mountains, skyscrapers, tall forest trees and anything of considerable height and mass. The amount of turbulence depends the size and shape of the obstructions as well as the speed of wind and other atmospheric conditions. Nevertheless, mountain terrains cause the most considerable turbulence of all of the above. This type of turbulence causes more discomfort to passengers than the previous two; however, it is still normal and not dangerous in any way. Wake turbulence It can be said that this type of turbulence is a little bit more dangerous than the ones we have mentioned before, but it can also be foreseen and controlled. As an aircraft flies, its wings generate an air vortex to create lift. This lift is what helps the airplane fly. As the plane passes however, its wake consists of two counter-rotating cylindrical vortexes. They can stay in the air for a few minutes after the plane has passed. Wake turbulence or Wake Vortex Turbulence is generated when another aircraft passes through the vortex created by another one. Air traffic controllers invest a lot of time and effort to prevent this from happening, especially in the vicinity of airports where airplanes come and go at the same time.
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