DALLAS – Airbus Flight Academy Europe (AFAE), a fully owned subsidiary of Airbus, has opened a new campus in Angoulême, in the southwest of France. During the inauguration, Airbus announced that the Barcelona-based airline Volotea (V7) would be the first to hire Airbus pilot apprentices.
Volotea’s decision to hire eleven of Airbus’ recent graduate pilot cadets from the airframer’s Ab-Initio Training Program, which began in 2019, gives credence to a curriculum that aims to provide cadets with the skills and expertise needed to become “operationally ready pilots,” with particular regard to the development of core pilot technical and behavioral qualities.
The Airbus cadets, who are currently completing their pilot school, will join Volotea and begin operating as commercial airline pilots in April-May of this year.
The First European Airbus Pilot Cadet Program
With the launch of the new campus, AFAE, which is the first aviation academy in Europe to conduct the Airbus Pilot Cadet Training Program, will be able to train up to 200 pilot cadets at a time. The 4.7-hectare property comprises a new 3200 square meter structure devoted to the training of aspiring pilots, which will feature 14 classrooms and briefing rooms, a simulator hall, an auditorium, and a café.
With the facility, Airbus says it is ensuring that the commercial aviation sector is prepared for air traffic revival in the 2023-2025 period and beyond by assisting in the training of tomorrow’s pilots, a need now expected to be over 550,000 over the next 20 years.
According to Airbus, the move to a new campus also gives AFAE the chance to adhere to and integrate with Airbus’ global environmental strategy. The site’s ISO 14001 accreditation was a first step, which was achieved in 2021.
Airbus and the Environment
AFAE is now concentrating its efforts on lowering CO2 emissions from its training aircraft fleet – an order for the more fuel-efficient, quieter Elixir light aircraft is currently being processed to supplement the current Cirrus fleet – as well as ensuring a decarbonized environmental footprint in terms of its physical sites and supply chain.
Proceeding, AFAE is willing to adapt its operations to Airbus’ long-term zero-emission ambition, while also making sure that it preserves the innovative and comprehensive approach to teaching for which Airbus has become known over the past 50 years, through the routine implementation of the latest technologies and learning concepts, which include environmental education, beginning on Day 1.
The Airbus Pilot Cadet Training Program is available to high school graduates over the age of 18 from all over the world. Before commencing training, candidates must pass online and on-site screening tests. Training will include 750+ hours of ground school and 200 hours of practical (flight and simulator) training.
Featured image: Airbus