High Flyers Wanted: WCC Aviation’s Aeronautical College Is Your Gateway For A Career In The Sky
Flying, once the privilege of the rich and famous, has become affordable for almost everyone. These days, passengers can fly to far flung destinations for little money thanks to budget airlines populating the skies, but one thing has remained unchanged throughout the years: the need for highly qualified pilots and aviation staff to make it all happen. Without them, nobody flies anywhere. If you have ever been curious about a career in aviation, then read on as we went for a visit to WCC Aviation’s Aeronautical College in Binalonan, where the tagline reads “Everyone can fly: Plane and simple”.
Around three hours north of Manila, in the eastern part of Pangasinan, lies the municipality of Binalonan. At the heart of this picturesque town is a busy aviation hub that is working hard to help shape the future of the industry in the Philippines and beyond. WCC’s Aeronautical and Technological College was the brainchild of 38-year-old licensed pilot and instructor Captain Ramon V. Guico III, who also happens to be the mayor of the town. To merely call this calm and charismatic aviator just another entrepreneur would be a bit of an understatement. In 2005, at the age of just 29, Guico established an airfield in the town and started his flying school with just two hobby aircraft and two students. From there, the number of students quickly grew and these days, WCC operates a fleet of 30 aircraft of varying capacities, including two brand new Tecnam P2002JF two seaters and a Tecnam P2006T Next-Generation twin four seater from Italy.
“Every day, the aviation industry needs highly-trained aircraft maintenance specialists, flight attendants, and professional pilots to serve in thousands of domestic and international flights. There is a serious need for competent personnel worldwide,” said Guico, whose goal of training highly skilled pilots is addressed by having a school with a functioning airport facility and an 850-meter airstrip, “which is almost as long as the one located in Caticlan.”
Next to the flagship Pilot Academy of the College of Aviation, WCC also offers qualifications in subjects such as Aviation Management, Aeronautical Engineering or Aircraft Maintenance Technology, as well as a Flight Attendant School, essentially forming a complete training institute for the whole of the aviation industry’s staffing and professional needs. Students don’t even have to leave the campus after class, as the facility includes a two-level 80-room resort-type hotel complete with facilities like a gym, student clubhouse, multipurpose halls and a mid-sized football field.
“In more than seven years of educating aviation professionals, we have produced more than 500 commercial pilots. It also goes for our flight attendants and aircraft mechanics who are now actively working in airlines. In fact, our graduates in aircraft maintenance technology are now hired in countries in Southeast Asia, Middle East and even in Africa,” But more than that, Guico is proud that “we now have a big influx of students from all over Asia who come to the Philippines to learn about aviation.”
During our tour of the facility it became abundantly clear that there is great focus on the quality of the training given, which is not only reassuring to see, but also in turn positively affects the industry as a whole. Only recently have two Philippines based airlines been removed from the European Union’s aviation blacklist, which is testament to the improvements taking place in the local industry, and companies like WCC are at the forefront when it comes to ensuring that future aviators can maintain and improve the country’s aviation industry standards. There is no reason why the Philippines can’t be a world leader in aviation, and WCC is out to prove that.
Footage from our flight around Pangasinan. To watch the video on YouTube, click here.