One of the biggest pilot academies in Europe celebrates birthday and awaits privatisation

The Jat Pilot Academy on Saturday, August 2, marked its 35th anniversary and celebrated St. Elias’ Day – the patron saint day of airmen. Since December 2007, Serbia has been member of the European aviation authorities so that licenses issued to pilots upon completing their courses are equal to those elsewhere in Europe. This means that licenses obtained from the Jat Pilot Academy are not subject to subsequent tests nor are its holders required to take additional examinations thus rendering license approval elsewhere in Europe and beyond much simpler. In addition, the Jat Pilot Academy light aviation maintenance centre in Vršac has been in possession of the EASA PART 145 certificate - required for maintenance and repair of smaller aircraft from the European Union - since 2005.

The Jat Pilot Academy has an airport with a concrete runway and a flight control building making it one of the three largest such centres in Europe. There is a Federal Aviation Centre at Vršac with the Jat Training Centre in Belgrade. Over the 35 years, the Academy trained 70% of the pilots that used to fly or still fly Jat Airways aircraft. Aside from meeting the needs of the parent company, more than 1.500 pilots from some thirty countries world wide received their training at the Academy. Currently, candidates from India, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro are attending courses at the Pilot Academy, while candidates from Australia, Germany, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have just completed their training. The Jat Airways Flight Academy is being sold as part of the Jat Airways privatisation package.