Siebrits het gesê hy sal Donderdagaand tydens die besigheidskamer se netwerkaand die hele situasie meer breedvoerig verduidelik.

Een van Aifa se opleidingsvliegtuie op Oudtshoorn. Foto’s: Hannes Visser

TUINROETE NUUS – ‘n Verdere ekonomiese ramp tref Oudtshoorn aan die einde van November as die Aifa-vliegskool hulle huidige studente na George verskuif. 

Volgens Pikkie Siebrits, hoof uitvoerende beampte van Aifa, is dit ‘n suiwer ekonomiese besluit. 

“Ons moet ongeveer 160 studente per jaar oplei om ekonomies gesond te wees, maar met Covid het ons geen nuwe studente die jaar ingeneem nie. Die groep wat ons het maak in April klaar en om ekonomiese redes word hulle aan die einde van November George toe verskuif,” het hy Maandag gesê.

Volgens Aifa se huidige beplanning word die basis op George ook aan die einde van April gesluit en dan sal opleiding slegs op Beaufort-Wes geskied. Siebrits verduidelik dat die pandemie wêreldwyd ‘n geweldig impak op die lugvaartbedryf gehad het en dat bykans al die lugvaartsektore met ongeveer 50% gesny is. 

“Ons lei hoofsaaklik Chinese sudente op, maar waar China in die verlede meer as 10 000 vlieëniers per jaar moes laat oplei het die aanvraag nou na ongeveer 5 000 gekrimp en hulle kan omtrent almal in China opgelei word. Volgens ons huidige projeksie sal ons in April slegs 50 studente kry en hulle sal dan in Beaufort-Wes opleiding ontvang.”

Die aanloopbaan van die Oudtshoorn-lughawe wat tans deur Aifa benut word.

Dié stap beteken dat 66 Oudtshoorniete hulle werk by Aifa aan die einde van November verloor. Terwyl enkele inwoners wat reeds jare lank die werksaamhede van die vliegskool teëstaan, waarskynlik verheug sal wees oor die besluit, is die verlies aan omset wat die vliegskool vir die dorp beteken ongeveer R70 miljoen per jaar volgens Siebrits se berekeninge.

“Ons moet onthou dat honderde studente jaarliks hier blyplek huur, van kos voorsien moet word, hulle inkopies doen en dat al ons voertuie hier versien word en brandstof aangekoop word. Byna 70 mense verdien ook direk ‘n salaris by Aifa,”

Siebrits het gesê hy sal Donderdagaand tydens die besigheidskamer se netwerkaand die hele situasie meer breedvoerig verduidelik, maar dat dit op hierdie stadium belangrik is dat mense weet die besluit om die vleigskool hier te sluit oorwegend as gevolg van ekonomiese faktore is.

Foto’s: Hannes Visser

(Credits and Thanks to: Outshoorn Courant)

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