Archive MD opens Travel & Aviation Academy

March 05, 2012 at 13:58

- Ian Doubtfire cuts the ribbon to open exciting new training facility

Staff and students at Craven College, Skipton gathered in the arrival lounge to celebrate the Grand Opening of its new Travel & Aviation Academy. Guests included Sue Chatfield, Head of International Resourcing at TUI, Pat Wainman, Leeds Bradford International Airport Manager for Servisair, representatives from other industry contacts, former students, head teachers and other school contacts. Special guest Ian Doubtfire, Managing Director of, formally opened the Academy on Craven College’s main Aireville campus and helped Robert Bellfield, Principal and Tina Gale, Manager for The Travel & Aviation Academy, cut the ribbon to officially open the new facilities.

Ex-students, now staff, Rob Mansfield, Sally Gildea and Lauren Summerskill join Ian Doubtfire and Robert Bellfield in the training room

Established in 2002, The Aviation Academy at the unique Leeds Bradford International Airport airside campus has gone from strength to strength. Programmes designed in collaboration with industry partners can now be studied in Skipton too, delivered by tutors with exceptional industry knowledge and experience. This prepares students for a wide range of careers including cabin crew, airport ground crew, passenger service agents, air traffic control, aeronautical engineering and pilot, airline and airport management.

The Travel & Aviation Academy’s outstanding new Skipton facilities include, TUI and Servisair branded rooms, a mock cabin equipped with seats and overhead luggage bins and an airport waiting lounge.

Former Craven College students at the Grand Opening included employees of Altham’s, TUI, Servisair and, many of whom studied degree courses at Craven College before leaving to pursue their careers in travel and aviation. Other former students who wished to join in the celebrations were unable to attend because of work commitments across the globe.

Ian Doubtfire cuts the ribbon with Craven College's Robert Bellfield and Tina Gale

Ian Doubtfire, Managing Director of, says: ‘The Aviation Academy provides a great platform for young people to learn about the travel industry, giving them a real opportunity to become aviation specialists of the future. We are delighted to support the launch of this fantastic new facility in Skipton which means even more students across the region will have access to the academy’s dedicated training.

Past students of Craven College have gone on to take roles across the breath of our organisation and we look forward to welcoming more over the coming years as we continue to work closely with the academy.’

Robert Bellfield, Craven College Principal says: ‘I am extremely proud to be Principal of a college which takes the lead in developing links with industry partners. The grand opening of the Travel & Aviation Academy in Skipton is a landmark in the opportunities we offer to students over a wide geographical area in the North of England.’

Tina Gale, Manager for The Travel & Aviation Academy says: ‘The Travel & Aviation Academy equips students with knowledge and practical skills to work in this dynamic industry. It is fantastic that we are able to extend our excellent provision for students from a wider geographical area who are looking for a career in aviation or travel.’ employs close to 1000 people at the company's headquarters based at Leeds Bradford International Airport. For one of the exciting roles with Yorkshire’s leisure airline visit