Ana Brnabić, the Prime Minister and Branko Ružic, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, visited the Training Centre of the Aviation Academy in Vršac and they both stated that upon its reconstruction it was going to be one of the best aviation centres in Serbia and that part of Europe. As the Prime Minister said there had already been a need for that kind of centre, and an increasing growth in aviation and therefore the growing need for pilots, flight controllers, mechanics, engineers and maintenance technicians was expected. Therefore the total investment of €67 million and €12,7 million invested so far would result in a good return on investment.
Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development, Gabrijela Grujić, said that the Government had made the decision to provide scholarships for students of such expensive studies for the first time. As a result, four pilots, two flight controllers and fourteen future aircraft engineers got scholarships from the state budget.
The total number of the first generation students of College of Applied Studies is 72, and some of them are students from Montenegro and North Macedonia. According to Branko Ružić, the crucial thing for present and future generations of students is the ability to easily find employment upon finishing the College. That is the result of the dual education model that enables students to acquire knowledge, during their studies, in renowned companies such as Air Serbia, MTU, SMATSA.
The whole process has been thoroughly planned and it involves the reconstruction of the Training Centre. According to Dr. Goran Cvijović, Director of the Academy, the reconstruction of accommodation capacity and mess for students is a priority. After that, procurement of necessary equipment has been planned: two twin-engine planes, one single-engine helicopter and a simulator for Airbus A320 and ATR 72-600. This is of great importance since the students in the Training Centre will attend not only basic courses, but also courses from beginner’s level to course for a specific type of plane. This concept of the Training Centre meets the needs of the national airline as well as the needs of the European and global market. Further steps include construction of hangar for training cabin crew, redesigning of runway, reconstruction of control tower, a new helidrome and solar panels for power supply for the whole compound.
Ministar Ružić pinpointed that foundation of College of Applied Studies in May and foundation of the Training Centre a year and a half ago were the first steps in developing dual education, not only on secondary education level, but also on higher education level. He also announced opening of training centres in Subotica, Šabac and Vlasotince, stressing that their scope of work would be defined in alignment with economic interests.