A £15m state-of-the-art Aviation Academy is set to open at RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire in 2019 in a joint venture between the RAF Air Cadets and Aviation Skills Partnership. Offering qualifications and training in aviation-related subjects from GCSE up to degree level, students at the new facility will be primed to take up jobs in the aviation industry ranging from pilots to air traffic controllers to engineers and cabin crew.
RAF air cadets will also use the facilities as part of their training at the academy, which will be next to the home of the RAF’s No 2 Flying Training School and the Central Gliding School which delivers gliding experiences for 41,000 air cadets.
Air Marshal Atha, the RAF’s Deputy Commander Operations, said: “This is a landmark moment for the RAF, the RAF Air Cadets and indeed any young person with an interest in aviation. This academy, delivered by a partnership we are proud to be part of, will prepare young people to be the next generation driving forward both the RAF and UK aviation.”
Mr Simon Witts, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Aviation Skills Partnership, added: “We are so proud to be launching this academy with our partners, the RAF Air Cadets. This academy, part of the Aviation Skills Manifesto, is part of our vision for the future. We plan to have a number of aerospace academies across the UK and this is just the beginning.
We launched our first international aviation academy in Norwich last month which was officially opened by RAF Air Cadet Ambassador, Honorary Group Captain Carol Vorderman, herself a keen aviator. We are excited to be bringing this to RAF Syerston.”
Commandant RAF Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty said: “Our cadets and their supporting staff will benefit massively from the new Aviation Academy and the state-of-the-art facilities on the site.
In addition to this brand new education and training facility, as part of the RAF’s Centenary plans, we hope to secure funding to build a £2m modular accommodation block at RAF Syerston for visiting youngsters and cadets from across the UK. The latter will learn about cyber technology and aerospace up to A-level.
With the addition of fit-for-purpose accommodation, we would be able to relocate our Qualified Aerospace Instructors’ Course to the new facility as well as other national cadet training events and competitions.
Students using the block will be able to access the facilities, hands-on teaching environment and, perhaps more importantly, the academic content, accreditation and OU-backed syllabi to gain meaningful qualifications to enable them to access employment in the aerospace sector.
This initiative aligns with the RAF’s intent to use its centenary to inspire the next generation and focuses on the delivery of excellent training in key disciplines of value to the RAF, defence and the wider UK economy.”
The Syerston academy will be named after WW2 Victoria Cross hero Arthur Aaron – a former RAF Air Cadet and RAF pilot. Arthur (5 March 1922 – 13 August 1943) was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military award for gallantry. The launch of the new academy was made during the RAF Air Cadets’ latest aerospace camp at RAF Syerston which saw 220 cadets aged 13-19 converge at the base for a week to learn more about aviation.
In addition to the new academy at Syerston, FTN understands that new academies will shortly be announced at RAF Cosford and Dundee.