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Sky’s the limit as country’s first International Air and Space Institute (IASTI) is planned for Newark




The country’s first International Air and Space Institute (IASTI) that will transform the way pilots, future astronauts, engineers and ground staff are trained is ready for take-off in Newark, the Advertiser can exclusively reveal.

Lincoln College Group is leading a collaborative bid for a share of the £3.6bn Government Towns Fund that will allow the national training facility to be built on the district council’s lorry park off Great North Road.

A concept drawing of the International Air and Space Training Institute that features the tail section of an airliner as its centrepiece.
A concept drawing of the International Air and Space Training Institute that features the tail section of an airliner as its centrepiece.

It is one part of the multi-million-pound funding bid, which was submitted to government yesterday by Newark and Sherwood District Council.

The college group and partners are working with the Towns Fund Board to create the facility, which is specifically designed to meet the needs of the air and space industry while fully integrating into the post-16 education system.

It aims to produce the next generation of skills-matched aviation professionals, providing a shop window for civil operators to acquire fully-qualified trained pilots as well as future astronauts, engineers and ground staff. It also offers the potential for future military co-operation.

It is hoped it will boost the local and regional economy, bringing students in from across the UK to study higher qualifications and degree-level courses.

Gary Headland, chief executive of Lincon College Group. (39418053)
Gary Headland, chief executive of Lincon College Group. (39418053)

Lincoln College Group chief executive Gary Headland said: “Our mission is to be employer-led, producing a highly skilled and productive local workforce.

“This initiative sees bespoke programmes co-designed by the industry’s best to provide a sustainable talent pipeline. It focuses on the provision of clear vocational pathways that will create lucrative, secure careers for young people.

“With close links to many air and space sector stakeholders, it will create exciting opportunities in the military and commercial sectors. We want to open up aviation careers to everyone, regardless of background. Diversity, social mobility and equal opportunities are key features and pivotal to the success of the project.”

The initiative is being supported by Aviation 360, a UK-based independent aviation advisory and consultancy organisation, in co-operation with community interest company ENGAP UK (Engaging the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals).

MIchelle Merry, regional director of Aviation 360. (39418050)
MIchelle Merry, regional director of Aviation 360. (39418050)

Michelle Merry, Aviation 360’s regional director, said: “Despite the current and expected short-term effects of covid-19, aviation is still a growth industry and training is a long-term investment.

“We aim to identify young people who are serious about a career in aviation at an early age so we can work with our partners to train them and provide a pipeline of fully skilled pilots, engineers and ground staff.

“The benefits are enormous, broadening the base of potential air and space employees, while fully integrating into the education system. It will also save the industry a lot of time and money in selecting and training the right candidates.”

The project is on track to enrol its first students in September next year.

The Flight Training will be carried out in partnership with Tayside Aviation.

Other partners involved in the project are yet to be announced.


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