Annual events like the Al Khor Fly-In encourage students to chart their career paths at an early age, thus playing a significant role in Qatar’s thrust to build a knowledge-based economy, an aviation expert has said.
The two-day event, which kicked-off its 10th installment on Friday at the Al Khor Airport, is a favourite destination for children and young people, especially aeronautics and aviation students. It also serves as popular platform for many aviation-related organisations and aeronautics schools to showcase their curriculum and the latest trends in the industry.
Qatar R/C Sport Centre events and communications manager Amir el-Haddad said the organisation, which is under the Ministry of Culture and Sports, utilises the Al Khor Fly-In, among other venues, to encourage the youth to pursue hobbies, and eventually, careers in aviation.
“While the Qatar Aeronautical College and Qatar Foundation, as well as other organisations are working to sharpen the skills of Qataris, we are focusing on a specific section, which is aviation and radio controlled (RC) technology, among the youth. “We are planting the seeds of knowledge in related fields such as mechanical engineering and flying, in general, and prepare them for the next step. This is our contribution to building a knowledge-based economy, which is among the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030,” el-Haddad told ‘Gulf Times’.
He added that Qatar R/C Sport Centre conducts regular lectures and mini training courses at schools and youth centres. The group also invites these institutions to its airfield “to experience flying first hand.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Sheikh Abdulaziz Ahmed al-Thani, a member of the Qatar Air Sport Committee, said skydiving is now a growing trend in Qatar. “We have a good mix of Qataris and expatriates, including those from the army, Internal Security Force, and even civilians.
“We have a very strong national team, and it is well-placed in terms of worldwide ranking in air sports. Skydiving is a growing trend in Qatar and more people have showed great interest in the sport,” he stressed.
Asked about the upcoming Qatar National Sport Day, Sheikh Abdulaziz said the group’s participation includes paramotor flights. Plans are being finalised to include skydiving, he said.
For this year’s fly-in, he said the Qatar Air Sport Committee increased the number of skydiving exhibitions from one demo jump last year to four jumps, including tandem jumps for the entire duration of the event. “Hopefully next year, we would be able to add more activities. We are trying to get more fixed-wing aircraft to participate in next year’s event,” he added.