Staff and students at Emirates Aviation College, Aerospace & Academic Studies (EAC AAS) were stunned to learn of the sad demise of college vice-chancellor Mohammad Al Budoor. The sudden, unexpected death of the man who had led the college for many years and established it as a notably outstanding provider of education in aviation-related fields created a sense of great loss.

The college recently held a memorial service to pay tribute to Al Budoor. Officials said his office will be converted into a meeting room and named in his honour. A book describing his contributions is currently being compiled.

Staff and students said all who knew him agree that while he carried great responsibility he never lost the ability to make each individual feel at ease in his company and know that they had an avidly interested listener. He was in essence a gentleman of the highest traditions of the UAE, able to relate to all nationalities. An inspired leader who never forgot the essential qualities of compassionate humanity, Mohammad Al Budoor will be sincerely missed.

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of the Emirates Group, appointed Al Budoor in 1991 to set up the college, then called the Dubai Aviation College.

Over the past 18 years Al Budoor made significant contributions to the college such as the introduction of a variety of specialised programmes, the licensure and accreditations from international and national authorities as well as affiliations and collaborations with international universities and training providers.

The college, under his leadership and management, has witnessed remarkable growth and has evolved into one of the most renowned colleges in the Middle East, winning accolades such as the best Aviation Training Academy in the Middle East in 2007 and 2008.

In his last interview with the Notes, Gulf News (March 22, 2009), Al Budoor said: "We are confident the college can weather challenges of the current economic environment with strong management and effective use of resources."

The staff and students of Emirates Aviation College will continue to work towards fulfilling Al Budoor's vision in making the college a first-class learning institution where students can achieve to the best of their potential.