The future is here.
The Air Force has announced a new €30 million plan to develop the next generation of cadets in Dublin by 2020.
The programme, announced at the National Aviation Museum in Dublin on Tuesday, will bring together the world’s most experienced cadets from Ireland, the UK and Australia to share their experience and expertise with one another.
The aim is to make Dublin the next aviation hub of the world, said Commander David McInally, Air Cadets Minister.
The programme is being announced in the context of the UK’s recent decision to withdraw from the European Union, with the UK also planning to cut its presence in Ireland.
“Dublin has the largest concentration of aviation graduates in Europe, and I believe it will play a major role in the future of aviation in Ireland,” he said.
The move comes on the heels of a £100 million boost to the Air Corps programme last year.
The announcement is a major boost for the Cadet Aviation Programme in Dublin, which has been running since the early 1970s.
It will bring an additional 2,000 students from across the UK, Ireland and Australia into the programme every year.
It comes as the UK Government has decided to scrap the current scheme, which was designed to encourage a “cadet culture” in Ireland, which is one of the reasons for the recent announcement.
“This is the next logical step in a much bigger, and more successful, programme,” said Lieutenant General David MacNeil, Air Corps Minister.
“It will see the creation of an entirely new cadet corps and its development into an organisation that is ready to contribute to the UK national interest.”
The new programme will also focus on teaching the cadets new skills such as “airship navigation, flight and flight management, ground handling, helicopter operations, aerodynamics, navigation and control, and other aspects of aviation and aviation engineering,” the announcement states.
The Cadet Corps, which dates back to the 1940s, is one the first cadet units to be accredited by the British Military Aviation Board, a body that oversees the development of the air force’s aviation programme.
The Cadet Air Corps was officially recognised in 2012.