Hong Kong Launches First-of-its-Kind Pilot Training Program

Photo Credit: Airport Authority Hong Kong

Hong Kong Metropolitan University (HKMU) and the Hong Kong International Aviation Academy (HKIAA) joined forces to create a new pilot training program.

This collaborative effort introduces the first-ever Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Hong Kong that seamlessly integrates commercial pilot training.

The program is designed to cultivate a new generation of highly skilled aviators for Hong Kong’s civil aviation sector. Students will graduate with both a BBA (Hons) degree and a coveted commercial pilot license.

New “Cadet Pilot” Concentration Takes Flight

This exciting initiative takes effect in the 2024/25 academic year. A new specialization, “Cadet Pilot,” will be incorporated into the existing BBA (Hons) in Aviation Services Management program, offered jointly by HKIAA and HKMU.

Students who have completed their core curriculum can choose to pursue the Cadet Pilot concentration during their third-year summer semester.

The Cadet Pilot Programme is a comprehensive training program. It features a six-month theoretical knowledge component delivered in Hong Kong.

This is then followed by an eight-month flight training course at IASCO Flight Training in California, USA.

Upon completion, students will participate in a two-week Multi-Crew Cooperation Course back in Hong Kong. The inaugural class is anticipated to begin pilot training in May 2025.

Enhanced Career Prospects for Aspiring Pilots

The HKIAA has partnered with a number of leading airlines. The program sees the support of Hong Kong Airlines, HK Express Airways, Greater Bay Airlines, and Hong Kong Air Cargo.

This collaboration allows students to participate in preliminary job interviews throughout their studies. This means potentially securing conditional job offers even before graduation.

A Milestone for Hong Kong’s Aviation Industry

The agreement signing ceremony was a momentous occasion, witnessed by several dignitaries. This notably included Jack So (Chairman, Airport Authority Hong Kong) and Conrad Wong (HKMU Council Chairman).

Officials who signed the agreement included Simon Li (President, HKIAA) and Professor Paul Lam (HKMU President).

Other notable attendees were Lam Sai-hung (Secretary for Transport and Logistics), Fred Lam (AAHK Chief Executive Officer). Representing the aviation regulator was Victor Liu (Director-General of Civil Aviation).

Explaining the Program’s Significance

Lam Sai-hung, Secretary for Transport and Logistics, emphasized the program’s significance. “This collaboration between HKIAA and HKMU is a first for Hong Kong. It allows students to earn both a BBA degree and a commercial pilot license simultaneously.”

“This is fantastic news for aspiring pilots not only in Hong Kong but also across the Greater Bay Area and beyond. The government and the aviation industry wholeheartedly welcome this major milestone.”

“The program will cultivate a new generation of highly skilled aviation professionals for Hong Kong, ensuring a steady stream of talented pilots while solidifying the foundation for the industry’s long-term growth.”

Simon Li, President of HKIAA, added further comment. “As the first civil aviation academy in Hong Kong, HKIAA is dedicated to developing talent that meets the industry’s future needs.”

“Our Cadet Pilot Programme, launched in September 2023, has already received over a hundred applications.”

“This collaboration with HKMU signifies our commitment to further institutionalize pilot training. It expedites the process for students to acquire a pilot license alongside a university degree.”

Conrad Wong, HKMU Council Chairman, concluded by stating, “HKMU’s recent designation as the first university of applied sciences positions us perfectly to expand collaboration with HKIAA.”

“Through this agreement, we’re introducing the Cadet Pilot concentration within the BBA (Hons) in Aviation Services Management program to address the critical need for qualified aviation personnel.”

The University aspires to elevate pilot training to a degree level in Hong Kong. It seeks to inspire young people to pursue their dreams of flight, and paving the way for a future within the aviation industry.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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