The Caribbean Aerospace College had its launch and first graduation ceremony on Friday, March 19, 2010 at its location on Dumfries Road, New Kingston.
The College which started out in October with twelve students is the brainchild of brothers Leslie and Jamie Chang. They along with the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), the Ministry of Transport and Works as well as the Air Transport Training College (ATTC), the training arm of the Singapore Institute of Aerospace Engineers (SIAE) have partnered to form one of only two such institutions in the English speaking Caribbean. The Institution will be run as a non-profit organisation offering training opportunities to professionals for the local and global aviation industry. In this respect, the College will be utilising the technical training curriculum of ATTC, which has been approved by the JCAA.
In terms of course offerings, the College offers the following:
- A Diploma in Airport Management
- A Specialist Diploma in Flight Dispatch
- An Associate Degree in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering
The Diploma in Airport Management is intended to prepare students to work in airports and related or client business while the Associate Degree or License Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (LAME) This is an industry based vocational qualification programme designed for people who want to become a licensed Aicraft Maintenance Engineer. Such students will be prepared to sit their AME exams with the JCAA.
The Specialist Diploma in Flight Dispatch (SDFD is a programme to produce Flight Dispatchers. These are persons responsible for planning and monitoring the progress of an aircraft’s journey. In airline operations, both the pilot in command and the dispatcher are legally responsible for the safety of a flight.
Speaking at the ceremony, Guest Speaker Minister Mike Henry lauded the College for the giant ‘leap of faith’ it took in establishing the institution. He had special praise for the Chang brothers (Jamie and Leslie) for the vision they had in conceptualising and bringing the dream of the college to reality.
Continuing, the Minister said, “The advent of the Caribbean Aerospace College marks a very significant date inJamaica’s aviation history. This, as they say, is really an idea whose time has come. This College has now given young persons who have always had a dream to get into aviation, an opportunity to do so in a less than complicated manner.”
Already the College has 12 students, five of whom graduated from the Flight Dispatcher course on the same afternoon of the launch. They completed the three hundred hours required for the Flight Dispatcher certification. The College has started to attract top level students as among the batch of students is Jamar Hamilton, the top student from the CXC-CSEC 2009 examinations.
The College is currently in the process of seeking accreditation from the Ministry of Education and the University Council of Jamaica. In terms of job prospects for graduates, part of the agreement with Singapore is that they (graduates), up to 1,000 of them may be assisted by the Singaporeans in being placed in jobs all over the world.
Also speaking at the ceremony were: Mrs. Melanie Quinton, Director; Mr. Jamie Chang, President; Dr. Meredith Hypolite-Derby who gave an overview of the College; Mrs. Dorothy Francis who chaired the proceedings and Ms. Shellie-Ann Anderson who gave the vote of thanks.