Despite the recent opening of several specialized training centers, Morocco is still struggling to bring its diplomas up to international standards. As a result, the kingdom lacks pilots and flight crew.
In 2018, several private training centers opened in Morocco to fille the immense gap left by the closure of the Royal Air Maroc (RAM) National Pilot Training School in 2014, deemed too expensive to remain open.
Since then, the RAM has been sending its students to European flight schools and hiring foreigners to cope with its increasing number of flights. At first glance, the opening of these new private training centers seems to be a good way of filling this lack of personnel. However, the degrees awarded – often very expensive – do not always meet international standards, reducing opportunities for graduates.
One Private Training Center for Pilots
The privately owned International Aero Training Center (IATC) of the Commercial Airline and Airline Pilot Training Center (CFPNC) group, launched in 2010 and bought in 2017 by the Moroccan Academy of Private Aviation (MAPA), is today the only airline pilot training center in Morocco. The school, based in Benslimane, is authorized by the Moroccan Civil Aviation Authority. However, the latter is the subject of several complaints about having dispensed diplomas of pilots without accreditation from international institutions.
In a statement issued on July 11, 2015 entitled “New Conditions for the Recruitment of Airline Pilots to the RAM Group”, the company states that the only training valid for joining the companies are the following: the National School of Civil Aviation in Toulouse, ESMA Aviation Academy Montpellier and Oxford Air Training School in the United Kingdom.
To date, MAPA offers only a commercial pilot diploma approved by Moroccan civil aviation qualified ATPL-ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). However, today, to fly in Europe, pilots must obtain the certification of European civil aviation authorities, called the ATPL-EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) license. To fly to the United States, they must have a permit from the Federal Aviation Administration (so-called FAA license).
Few Opportunities for Cabin Crew
Currently, Moroccan steward and flight attendant students receive two diplomas at the end of their two years of training. Unlike the first one that the training center delivers, it’s the Directorate of Civil Aviation that issues the second diploma; the Safety and Rescue Certificate – CSS.
The CSS allows its holders to become accredited cabin crew with the condition that they accept a six-month fixed-term contract renewable once and carry out a 60-hour training period as a trainee, all for less than $300 per month for an average of one year.
Nonetheless, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the American Federation of Civil Aviation (FAA), do not recognize the Moroccan CSS certificate and thus does not offer many opportunities for its holders.