TOULOUSE, 17 March 2012. To support the growing number of ATR aircraft in Africa, ATR, the European manufacturer of turboprop aircraft, has 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 in addition to maintenance technician training. 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). 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 accessed by all operators. Comair's facilities and services also influenced the decision.