ATR opens first pilot training centre in Africa


ATR has opened its first training centre on the African continent to support the growing number of ATR aircraft in Africa. The new centre in Johannesburg caters for pilots and maintenance technicians and is run in partnership with Comair.

The centre 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 said. It 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.

ATR supplies its instructors and teaching resources required but operators can also hire the simulator and use their own instructors to train their pilots and maintenance teams.

To operate the new facilities, ATR has formed a partnership with Comair (operator of British Airways southern Africa and
“We are happy to be working alongside Comair to meet the growing need for ATR training in Africa,” said Lilian Braylé, Senior Vice-president of Product Support and Services of ATR. “By opening this new centre, 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, said that, “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 centre in Johannesburg. Our new partnership with ATR will also enable us to compliment our training programme offer.”

Comair provides training services to around thirty airlines. In addition to the ATR FFS simulator, the Comair training centre also houses Boeing 737-200/300/400/500/800 type simulators. Besides working with African airlines, Comair also works with operators from South America, Asia and the Middle East.

ATR currently has training centres in Toulouse, Paris, Bangkok and Toronto. 85 ATR aircraft are currently operated by 32 airlines in 20 African countries.