Joint civilian/military flight school nests in Philippines

 - May 6, 2008, 6:31 AM

Trade and marketing consultants Garsol Management Innovators of Makati City, the Philippines, have announced plans for the formation of an international flying school at Clark Field. This former U.S. Air Force base was abandoned some 10 years ago following the eruption of nearby Mount Pinatubo, which deposited large quantities of volcanic ash on the field.
According to a statement by Sean Gerard Villoria, president and CEO of Garsol, the school will offer the unusual combination of both military and civil training. There was little comment on the civil syllabus, but the military element is scheduled to include training through to combat proficiency.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank Financial Group of Houston, Texas, is quoted as displaying an interest in providing up to $300 million in financing. Planned procurement calls for 124 aircraft between next year and 2005.

Of these aircraft, the primary trainer is scheduled to be the PAC CT-4E, a two-seat piston trainer built in New Zealand for the Royal Australian Air Force. Advanced training will be carried out on the turboprop Pilatus PC-9M.

Other training aircraft will include primary and advanced helicopters, multi-engine turboprop and jet aircraft, primary jet trainers and advanced trainer/aggressor combat aircraft. The eventual goal of the IFS is to become the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) official flight-training center and to become the center of knowledge for aviation training, with the awarding of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. To that end, it is still seeking partners in the project.