TONGAN PILOTS SCHOOL PLANNED WITH CHINA’S HELP

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Predicted shortage of local pilots prompts partnership

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 31, 2012) – The Tongan government is planning to establish the first ever pilot school in the kingdom.

Radio Tonga says this is in response to concerns voiced by the International Air Transport Association that there will be a shortage of pilots in Tonga.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Samiu Vaipulu, says experts from China will arrive in March for a survey and to do some research about a possible pilot school.

Mr. Vaipulu says if the plan goes ahead, Chinese pilots could learn English while Tongans could learn pilot skills and aircraft engineering.

Recommendations are expected to be presented to Cabinet for discussion later this year.

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