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Students of the East African Civil Aviation Academy want government to allow them to continue with studies during holiday season to compensate for lost time. The proposal stems from the various disruptions experienced by the students this year following the persistent break down of air crafts, which affected their flight practice. The eight Aircrafts are grounded as their propellers were taken to Nairobi for maintenance.
The problem was further compounded with the expiry of Airworthiness certificate for the eight Aircrafts on October 28, 2013 leaving students stranded without any flight practice. Now, Bliika Musheshe, the guild President, East African Civil Aviation Academy says they wasted a lot of time without, which needs to be compensated. He says government should either allow them to study in holidays or allow them to report early enough to catch up with what they missed.
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Following the suspension of the flight practice, URN visited the flying school and found some of the trainee pilots watching DSTV, playing basket ball, swimming and chatting. According to Musheshe, because of the endless problems at the institution some of the have spent more than seven years instead of two. He says engineering students who are meant to spent three years end up spending four to five years.
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Ronald Lodiong, the Acting Director East African Civil Aviation Academy, Soroti declined to comment on the request by the students saying they are yet to meet and discuss the matter. He however, said the Aircrafts are to undergo intensive annual inspection in accordance with the maintenance programs approved by Civil Aviation Authority. Engineer Abraham Byandala, the works and transport minister, which is in charge of the East African Civil Aviation Academy says the students need time to rest.
The East African Civil Aviation Academy, Soroti was established by the East African Community in 1971 to train pilots and aircraft engineers. Students broke off on December 6, 2013 and are expected to report back on February 3, 2014. However, some students have remained at school waiting to continue with their studies once their request is granted by government.