Dubai: Meet Bilal Tahboub, one of Dubai’s most-seasoned cabin crew trainers. Tahboub, one of the senior cabin crew members who flew on Emirates’ maiden flight from Dubai to Karachi in 1985, is well known today for crafting unique, ‘reality-based’ training methodologies for the flight crew.
Tahboub is the Co-Founder and Training Director of Dynamic Advanced Training (backed by Khansaheb), UAE’s only independent Cabin Crew Training Organisation (CCTO). Located at the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub in Dubai South, Dynamic Advanced Training is home to five full-flight cabin simulators (FFCS) capable of emulating any real-world scenarios – from extreme turbulence to a plane crash.
“I don’t believe that PowerPoint presentations can train recruits on handling emergencies in an aircraft… There would be little to no knowledge retention in that case,” said Tahboub, emulating a plane crash scenario on a 6 DOF motion business jet cabin simulator. The training centre creates safety and emergency procedures, security, and VIP service training requirements for its clients.
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“In a real-world scenario, passengers start panicking, overhead luggage sometimes falls off, and food and other cutlery in the galley falls off (in case of a crash). There are medical emergencies. Anything can happen. Crew members need to be prepared for anything and everything,” he said.
The training centre has exceeded expectations to prepare crew members for emergencies. With specialized facilities, they provide comprehensive training, covering crash landings in water, jungle survival skills, real fire-fighting simulators and braving blizzards at freezing temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius. “This ensures crew readiness in diverse and challenging situations,” he explained.
Aviation by chance
Well-known as the trainer of trainers, Tahboub has imparted extensive knowledge and expertise to numerous cabin crew trainers throughout his illustrious three-decade career. However, his foray into the industry was by choice rather than choice. “I studied Science and Mathematics in college. Back then, an aviation career meant the pay scales were better than any other industry in addition to the opportunity to travel… that is what got me into aviation in the first place,” he said.
After serving as a cabin crew for Royal Jordanian (from 1980), the Jordanian national relocated to Dubai in 1985 to join Emirates as the airline was just about to launch. He dedicated 33 years of his career to the company.
“I landed in Dubai on September 23, 1985. In a month (October 25, 1985), I was one among the crew members on the maiden flight from Dubai to Karachi,” said Tahboub. Emirates operated flights from Dubai to Karachi and Mumbai using a Boeing 737 and an Airbus 300 B4 wet leased from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
From crew to trainer
Following the inaugural flight, Emirates embarked on a remarkable growth trajectory, and it was during this period that Tahboub discovered his passion for becoming a trainer within the airline. “The training manager picked me to work with him on creating training modules for the crew. We initiated the training facilities from the ground up. Initially, we operated from a modest office above Dnata’s former location near the Deira Clocktower,” Tahboub recounted.
Huge demand for private aviation.
After working with Emirates for over 30 years and training thousands of cabin crew, Tahboub partnered with Mark Krammer (Co-Founder) to launch Dynamic Advanced Training in June 2020. Today, centres like Dynamic cater to the training needs of airlines worldwide, facing the worst staffing shortage in aviation history. And almost all regional and global airlines are still pushing massive recruitment drives to meet their staffing requirements.
Dynamic’s client base has grown to 61 airlines and comprises nearly all of the region’s private aviation firms.
“We also train and re-train aspiring VIP flight attendants on the right etiquette for servicing on corporate jets. It is a sector that gained immense popularity post-pandemic and continues to grow,” he said. The training includes all modules, from cultural awareness, religious considerations, special foods, client profiles, protocols, and post-landing duties.