First Graduates of ATR – ENAC joint training programme get their wings

Mid-October saw the first graduating class of ATR and ENAC’s innovative joint pilot training programme as five pilot cadets from Lao Airlines received their certificates.  The programme, launched two years ago, aims to offer an end-to-end training solution for prospective pilots, and putting them on the fast track to be future First Officers and then Flight Commanders. Recruits are selected from airlines’ respective local areas to provide operators with homegrown pilots.

The graduating cadets began their pathway to becoming pilots when they were selected for the programme in November 2016. Their training began in earnest in February 2017 at ENAC and was comprised of three phases, a theoretical aspect with 14 certificates of the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), practical training with ENAC at St Yan before finishing with ATR Type Rating Training at our own Training Center in Blagnac. The next steps will be integration and adaptation courses that will formally end their training with an eye on them becoming Lao Airlines Pilot Officers, an operator with a fleet of six ATRs. 

Finding and providing certified well-trained pilots is a challenge facing everyone in the aviation industry and as the market leader in regional aviation ATR has certainly identified this as a priority. With a market forecast estimating the need for more than 3,000 aircraft over the next 20 years, ATR is putting in place a range of actions and solutions to guarantee a sufficient pool and flow of pilots; ensuring that we are responding to the needs of our clients and operators with the best offer possible. This partnership with ENAC is one of the supports to address the topic and it is with pride that we see the first cadets of this programme entering the world of ATR pilots.