Progress Flight Academy

Academy Profile

The Academy specialises in integrated courses for:

  • Commercial Pilot Licence with Instrument Rating (multi-engine) – CPL (A)/IR/ME;
  • Airline Transport Pilot Licence – ATPL (A); and
  • Airline Pilot Programme – ATPL (A) with jet type rating.


Since September 1981 we have been providing full time residential flight training courses at Progress aerodrome and since 1995 have trained pilots for transition to First Officer on medium jet airliner with airlines.

In 2009 we obtained CAA approval for the first Integrated Professional Pilot Course in South Africa. This increased training quality and reduced cost.

In 2015 we introduced a ‘Premium’ Integrated Professional Pilot Course which represents a quantum leap in quality and a substantial enhancement in the operational capability of graduates.

The key to this development is the purchase of the new Vulcanair P68R multi-engine piston aeroplane and Vulcanair P68R type specific ‘simulators’. The new aeroplanes and simulators are equipped with Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) which is very similar to the equipment used in modern airliners.


Courses offered by Progress Flight Academy are based on best international practice which is the European Aviation Safety Authority Flight Crew Licencing (EASA-FCL) standard, and we use Jeppesen training material.

Many of our graduates transition immediately to a medium jet airliner type rating with superlative success. Our first corporate client was South African Airways with whom every one of our graduates achieved successful First Officer qualification on the Boeing 737.

We have a long record of success with Kenya Airways and have graduated 84 cadets. Kenya Airways graduates proceed to Comair Training Centre for jet transition and often the B737 type rating. Capt Glen Warden of Comair states “students who have been trained by Progress have had a perfect score in terms of successful completion of the type rating on B737 Classic and NG”.

PFA graduates have also achieved 100% success rate in their type rating for:

  • Airbus A320    Airbus Académie, Toulouse
  • Embraer 190    Flight Safety Academy, Amsterdam
  • ATR 72    ATR Académie, Toulouse
  • CRJ    Lufthansa Academy, Bremen

Market position

Progress Flight Academy is positioned within the local industry as a premium flight academy providing extremely high quality training to clients wishing to obtain the Commercial Pilot Licence with Multi-engine Instrument Rating.

The training syllabus was developed over more than 30 years of experience with the highly successful modular course. The integrated course is highly structured of exceptionally high standard. It is the market leader in quality Professional Pilot Training in South Africa.

We are the only Aviation Training Organisation in South Africa with a long and successful record of graduates making the immediate transition to medium jet airliner type rating.


Basic flight training is accomplished in the single-engine aeroplane fleet of late model Piper Warrior III aeroplanes equipped with Garmin G430 GPS.

The multi-engine training employs the high quality Italian Vulcanair P68R. This six seat cabin class high wing aeroplane was designed as a multi-engine aeroplane – the pilot sits ahead of the wing and engines with an uninterrupted view above and below, similar to an airliner. The Vulcanair is equipped with state of the art Garmin G1000 EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) which is similar to the equipment used in the Boeing 737-800 and the Airbus A320. The quality of design and construction of this aeroplane is outstanding.


We commissioned the design and construction of two Flight and Navigation Procedures Trainers level II (FNPT II) ‘simulators’ using actual aeroplane forward fuselage sections that replicate precisely the Vulcanair P68R aeroplane. The simulators are built to EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) FNPT II specification from aeroplane components and exactly replicate the aeroplane cockpit. These FNPT II devices qualify for 40 hours instrument flight training credit on an integrated course.

Progress Flight Academy is the only flight school in South Africa using FNPT IIs that precisely replicate the aeroplane used for instrument training.

The Garmin G1000 equipment facilitates instrument flight training for the new GPS based instrument approach procedures now becoming prevalent throughout the world and now introduced at Port Elizabeth International Airport.

All the procedural and operational instrument training is conducted in multi-engine simulators and aeroplanes. This major development enables us to achieve a superlative standard for graduates entering general aviation, and will enhance the transition to First Officer training for airline candidates. Students have the opportunity to practise instrument approach procedures relevant to their own geographic area.


The location of a flight school is critical for effective instrument flight training. In South Africa there are just six controlled airports with precision approach Instrument Landing System (ILS) equipment, and three of them have very busy traffic schedules that preclude significant instrument flight training.

The ideal location is the southern Cape coast where the airports of George, Port Elizabeth and East London are situated. These airports have world class equipment because the coastal weather demands it. Port Elizabeth is the best equipped of the three airports and is centrally located to the others.

Considerable instrument training is accomplished in actual instrument weather conditions which is extremely valuable to the students.

Port Elizabeth International Airport

Port Elizabeth International Airport is used for multi-engine aeroplane training, instrument training approach procedures, and LOFT flights to East London and George state airports. Perfectly located 20 km from Progress aerodrome an aeroplane departing Progress is in an ideal position to immediately commence an instrument approach at Port Elizabeth.

The Port Elizabeth International Airport facilities include secondary surveillance radar and ILS approaches to minima of 200 ft height on the east and west runways (runways 08 and 26). Air traffic control incorporates Clearance Delivery, Ground, Tower and Approach frequencies.

Students are exposed to the cloud and wind of the coastal weather which provides superb preparation for a pilot career. The experience gained here produces an excellent operational capability

Progress aerodrome

Progress aerodrome is a CAA licenced Private aerodrome for the exclusive use of Progress Flight Academy.

Use of visual flight time is very efficient because of the absence of other traffic and the very close proximity of the General Flying Area which is only 4 nm from the aerodrome. Instrument training is also very efficient as Port Elizabeth International Airport is just 12 nm away.

The Airline Pilot theory ground school is accomplished at Progress Aerodrome within a few metres of the campus.

We have our own CAA approved Aircraft Maintenance Organisation based on the aerodrome so we are able to efficiently maintain the fleet to an excellent standard and minimise down time.

Progress Campus

Students are accommodated in single study-bedrooms in one of the ‘lodges’ on the aerodrome campus. Each ‘lodge’ has twelve study-bedrooms, ablutions, a small kitchenette and a lounge with DSTV. Wireless internet access is available free of charge in all lodges and throughout the campus.

Courses include full board accommodation for the duration of the course in one continuous period. This includes three meals a day, tea or coffee at any time, laundry, and course related transport.

The ‘mess’ is the focal point of the campus. Our on-site catering staff provides the meals in the dining room. There is a lounge with coffee bar and pool table overlooking the swimming pool. Facilities available to residential students include a clubhouse with gym equipment overlooking the runways..