ATR opens its first training center for pilots in Africa
The Johannesburg-based training center is run in partnership with Comair, the southern African holding company operating British Airways and kulula.com
To support the growing number of ATR aircraft in Africa and to anticipate the associated development potential, ATR, the European manufacturer of turboprop aircraft, has just opened a new training center for pilots and maintenance technicians in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is the very first training center to be opened by ATR on the African continent. The center is equipped with a Full-Flight Simulator, offering training possibilities for the ATR 42-300, ATR 42-500, ATR 72-200 and ATR 72-500 models.
ATR has opened this new training center to support the growth of its fleet of aircraft in mainland Africa and the India Ocean islands. 85 ATR aircraft are currently operated by 32 airlines in 20 African countries.
This new center, which is already up and running, allows ATR to offer its African and Indian Ocean island operators type and recurrent training courses for pilots for the models listed above, in addition to maintenance technician training. Within the framework of its activities, ATR supplies its instructors and the latest generation teaching resources required. Operators can also hire the simulator and use their own instructors to train their pilots and maintenance teams.
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To operate these new facilities, ATR has formed a partnership with Comair (operator of British Airways southern Africa and kulula.com). ATR therefore benefits from the airline's logistics and existing equipment at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
Johannesburg was selected as the location for the first ever ATR training center on African soil because it is a major hub in the massive sub-Saharan African and Indian Ocean region and can be easily and quickly accessed by all operators. Comair's quality facilities and services also influenced the decision.
Lilian Braylé, Senior Vice-president of Product Support and Services of ATR, stated: “We are happy to be working alongside Comair to meet the growing need for ATR training in Africa. By opening this new center, we will be able to offer airlines the most modern training tools, highly qualified instructors, optimum course follow-up and a local service which is already proving beneficial.”
Erik Venter, Chief Executive Officer of Comair Limited, states: “After more than ten years of training on the B-737 for our pilots and for external pilots, we are happy to form this partnership to develop training on ATR aircraft using the new facilities at our operations center in Johannesburg. Our new partnership with ATR will also enable us to compliment our training programme offer."
Source : ATR Aircraft - an Alenia Aeronautical and EADS joint venture