News story

Aviation Minister meets Norwich students at cutting-edge training academy

Aviation Minster visits International Aviation Academy students who will shape the UK's aviation future.

Picture of the International Aviation Academy.
  • Aviation Minister, Liz Sugg meets the aviation workforce of tomorrow at the International Aviation Academy in Norwich
  • Up to 450 students will be trained across a variety of areas to equip them with skills which will help them transform the UK’s aviation industry in years to come
  • the Aviation Minister also visited Norwich Airport which is leading the way in accessibility for passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility

Today (26 July 2018) the Aviation Minster, Liz Sugg visited the International Aviation Academy in Norwich where she met the talented individuals who will help shape the future of the UK aviation industry.

During a tour of the purpose-built facility alongside Chloe Smith MP, the minister was shown a full size operational aircraft which is used in aviation simulations and spoke to students taking part in a range of training programmes.

The minister also saw the workshops where the trainees are taught a host of academic, practical and industry skills that will propel them into local, national and international aviation jobs.

In a demonstration of the expertise being passed on to them, the students talked the minister through the starboard 737 engine explaining how it generates mechanical power within an aircraft’s propulsion system.

Aviation Minister, Liz Sugg, said:

The International Aviation Academy is providing world-class training and teaching to students who will undoubtedly shape the future of one of our most successful industries.

By working with local schools, colleges and universities, it has helped create new opportunities for young people offering them a route into an exciting and rewarding career.

As the home of the first commercial aircraft ever to be built from metal, Norwich has a proud history of innovation in aviation and I am pleased to see the increasingly important role this city is playing in the sector’s future.

Member of Parliament for Norwich North, Chloe Smith, said:

We can be very proud to show off these innovative new facilities in north Norwich which open up exciting skills and big prospects.

Up to 450 students are trained at the academy each year, learning the skills needed to work in air traffic control, airport operations and other areas of the aviation industry.

Based in Norwich, the facility offers a wealth of potential employers for those with industry training. Located on the site of Norwich International Airport it also offers impressive connectivity and exceptional educational partners.

Simon Witts, Aviation Skills Partnership’s (ASP) Founder & Executive Chairman, said:

I am delighted to welcome Baroness Sugg, minister for aviation, to this world-first aviation academy in Norwich: part of ASP’s plan to restore the UK to its position as one of the world’s leading sources of skilled people to support the growing aviation industry worldwide.

Made possible through funding from Norfolk County Council, Norse and the New Anglia LEP along with the early vision of Norwich Airport, we are proud to be working with KLM UK Engineering, University of East Anglia and City College Norwich to offer our unique Aviation Engineering Pathway with the other areas of aviation training following shortly.

I am proud of the role that we can play, through this academy and others to follow, in offering aviation as a civil or military career to people of all ages and walks of life. It is a great industry and the UK has a rich heritage of aircraft innovation, design, manufacture and operation. But there is a critical shortfall of young skill and in the UK aviation sector and this situation is forecast to worsen in the future.

The aviation skills partnership is looking forward to working with Baroness Sugg to address this shortfall and, in this 100th year of the Royal Air Force, to inspiring a new generation for the future.

The Aviation Minister and Chloe Smith MP also visited Norwich Airport where some of the academy’s students may one day work. Here, they were taken on a tour of the terminal and the helicopter facilities.

Serving more than half a million passengers each year, Norwich is one of the best connected regional airports in the UK.

Earlier this month, the Civil Aviation Authority released its airport accessibility report for 2017/18 which revealed that Norwich Airport is leading the way in accessibility for disabled passengers and those with mobility restrictions.

Norwich Airport Managing Director, Richard Pace, said:

We were delighted to welcome the aviation minister Baroness Sugg and Chloe Smith MP to the airport.

As part of the tour, we were able demonstrate the very positive growth story happening here and the critical role that regional airports can play in future connectivity.

We need government to recognise the potential that Norwich and other airports have and the contribution they can make particularly as we leave the European Union.

Areas such as air passenger duty exemptions or holidays would make a significant difference and we look forward to further engagement with the government on these and other topics.

Member of Parliament for Norwich North, Chloe Smith, said:

The airport is an important asset for Norwich and the area. As the constituency MP I set out to discuss with the minister what our region needs to thrive.

Aviation and maritime media enquiries

Published 26 July 2018