Home Student & Career Tips Top 6 Colleges To Study To Be A Pilot In South Africa

Top 6 Colleges To Study To Be A Pilot In South Africa

Discover the top 6 Colleges in South Africa to study to become a pilot with the information contained in this article.

Top 6 Colleges To Study To Be A Pilot In South Africa
Start your career journey to becoming a Pilot by exploring any of these Colleges in South Africa.


Pilot is one of the greatest career choices in the aviation industry. Besides the fun of traveling round the world, the earnings are mouth watering. However, becoming a pilot comes with rigorous training and lots of financial involvement.

Choosing the right flight training school is the first step on your journey to becoming a competent Professional or Private Pilot. It is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

There is no easy approach to learning to fly. Hence, it is vital to work to the highest possible standard from the very first hours of your flying training.

Bearing this in mind, you might want to think quickly about what you want out of an aviation career, knowing that the two competing factors are Experience (which develops your KSA [2] and Judgment) and Seniority (Which determines the aircraft you fly, how much you are paid and how stylish your uniform is).

Top 6 Colleges Study To Become A Pilot in South Africa

There are lots of flight schools in South [3] Africa. Most are small while some are big. The option you go for depends on your choice with certain factors in mind. So, here are flight schools you might want to consider to become a pilot:

1. Cape Town Flight Training Centre (CTFTC)

In no particular order, this is one of the top 6 flight colleges you can study to become a pilot in South Africa. If you want to learn to fly at a big airport, Cape Town Flight Training center is a good place to consider.

At CTFTC, their core objective is to provide a solid, professionally oriented foundation. From the very first day of your training nothing is left to chance.

Unlike some training organizations, CTFTC does not utilize non-certified  aircraft for flight training, only aircraft which are fully certified by the FAA (USA) and the SACAA (South Africa) are used for training.

These  measures taken to ensure your safety is of paramount importance and will not be compromised at Cape Winelands Airport include:

  • no wake turbulence or jet-wash from airliners.
  • no limiting noise abatement procedures. 

Also,  there are four certified and licensed wide concrete runways which are comparatively long and accept all prevailing wind directions. All runway overshoots have safe emergency landing areas. So, your safety is of utmost importance while being trained at CFTC.

2. 43 Air School

Located in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, 43 Air School is one of the largest pilot training schools in South Africa.

43 Air School [1]  is a dedicated flying training organization, catering for the private, general commercial, airline as well as military sectors. They have extensive experience in training self and corporate sponsored pilots from different countries around the world. This is made possible with well over 70 teams of experienced instructors.

In the past 30 years of the school’s establishment, over 6000 graduates for the general, airline and military aviation sectors have been trained professionally as pilots. 

43 Air school is the only flight college that is able to offer an Integrated Airline Transport Pilot Licence (iATPL), with the ability to add on the Airline Pilot Standard Multi Crew Cooperation (APS MCC) and the Boeing/Airbus Type Rating. 

It has a one year program getting you to a CPL (Commercial Pilot License). Like other flight schools, they  train international students which means they operate on international standards.

3. Flight Training College (FTC) 

Located in Western Cape, South Africa, the school was established in 1999 with the aim of instilling an airline culture and discipline into general aviation. This is to help develop an attitude that is conducive to flight safety and professionalism.

All flight training is conducted on a personal level at FTC, giving all trainees the opportunity to relate with their instructors closely. 

FTC offers a broad spectrum of Pilot Training. While they are primarily focused on Professional Pilot Training, their goal also includes the improvement of Knowledge, Skill and Safety standards in the recreational/private flying sector. 

Their training ranges from the basic Private Pilot Licence (PPL) to the advanced Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATP). 

Other courses include the Instrument Rating (IF), Multi Engine (ME) and Instructor Rating (IR). If you reside around the George Airport, this Flight school is a perfect option.

4. Progress Flight Academy

This academy is based in Port Elizabeth and has provided pilot training courses since 1981. Progress Flight Academy has a passionate and dedicated team of aviators training our pilots. 

They specialize in providing premium flight training to clients who wish to achieve a genuine operational capability in multi-engine piston airplanes.

Their flight training syllabus on Professional Pilot Course is highly structured and based on best international practice with the European Joint Aviation Authorities Flight Crew Licensing standard (JAA-FCL). 

The school accommodates  residential students on the flight school campus at Progress Aerodromes, near Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The private aerodrome is exclusive to students so there is no traffic congestion; and the close proximity of the General Flying Area and instrument training facilities ensures efficient use of flying training time.

In 2009 Progress Flight Academy was the first Aviation Training Organisation in South Africa to achieve CAA approval of an Integrated Professional Pilot Course. 

5. Rand Airport Flight School

Rand Airport Flight school also known as  Johannesburg School of Flying is located at Rand Airport near Johannesburg. It’s one of the oldest flight training schools in South Africa and the biggest in Gauteng. Since the inception of the school in 1981, they have been training world class pilots  from all around the globe.

The academy is approved by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA/1033) which is International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) compliant.

Facilities at the academy include:

  • a fully equipped lecture theater
  • 5 flight briefing rooms,
  • 4 flight planning stations
  • Free exam preparation available in the student study lounge
  • Exam Testing Centre with 5 exam stations
  • In house Aviation medical Doctor offices
  •  Kitchen lounge
  • Outside recreational area
  • Private parking and 2 flight hangers . 

Rand airport is in close proximity to the General Flying Area and other major airports giving the student more flying time per lesson and as a result training being done more efficiently. It has four different runway directions to accommodate any wind conditions.

Sounds like an interesting stay at the flight school right?

6. AAA 4 Pilots

This is one of the leading flight training academies in South Africa, situated at Virginia Airport Durban.

The academy is approved by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA No/0294) which is ICAO compliant.

AAA 4 Pilot school creates a serious learning environment with experienced but friendly instructors to make sure you enjoy your time at the school. 

Whether  you wish to fly for pleasure with a Private pilot license (PPL) or pursue a career in aviation with a Commercial pilot license (CPL), the school is committed to providing you the training you require to accomplish your dream.

Courses offered at AAA4 pilots include (Fixed Wing) Private Pilot License, Night rating. Commercial Pilot License, ATPL,Instructor Rating, Simulator training, Ground School Lectures, Radio Telephony courses, Foreign License Validations, Hire & Fly, Conversions and Renewals, etc.

Training can be done on a full time or part time basis depending on which is convenient.

The goal of AAA 4 PILOTS is to produce professional pilots who value life the most and to excellently serve the world aviation industry. They also have a track record of producing graduates who fly for major Airlines across the globe.


South Africa is blessed with numerous flight schools located at different parts of the country. Hence, it’s a good idea to research the latest information and contact the schools directly for the most up-to-date details in order to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences. 

However, when selecting a flight school in South Africa, consider factors such as accreditation, reputation, instructor qualifications, aircraft fleet, safety record, training curriculum, cost and location. Ensuring the school meets regulatory standards, has experienced instructors, modern equipment, and a comprehensive curriculum will contribute to a well-rounded and effective pilot training experience.


[1] Home page. (2019, September 27). 43 Air School. https://www.43airschool.com/

[2] What is KSA? (2022, February 10). Bristol Groundschool; Bristol Ground School. https://www.bristol.gs/what-is-ksa/

[3] (N.d.). Careersportal.Co.Za.  https://www.careersportal.co.za/careers/careers-advice/where-to-study-to-become-a-pilot

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