ASTANA – Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s national carrier, commissioned a new flight-training center, the first in Central Asia certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), at Astana International Airport, reported the company’s press service on Sept. 8.
The facility is equipped with a full-flight Airbus A320 Reality Seven simulator supplied by L3 Harris, the airline’s first, and the first ever installation in Kazakhstan.
The center is designed to enhance pilot training capabilities within Kazakhstan and, in doing so, will avoid the previous need to send pilots overseas for training. Over 500 pilots from both Air Astana and its low-cost subsidiary, FlyArystan, will undertake training at the new facility, which will be open 24/7.
According to Air Astana CEO Peter Foster, the opening of the airline’s new flight training center demonstrates a strategic commitment to ensuring the highest standards of flight personnel performance and enhancing the steady flow of new entrants into Kazakhstan’s air transport industry as it grows in the future.
“I am confident that the new facility will not only prove to be a highly cost-effective resource for Air Astana, but also result in Kazakhstan becoming a regional leader in flight training,” he said.
The launch of the new training center underscores Air Astana’s commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) principles. Air carrier’s previous initiatives to develop the next generation of aviators in Kazakhstan include an Ab-initio pilot training program launched in 2008 and the training academy in Almaty opened in 2018. Air Astana Group has a goal to hire 100 more pilots and a similar number of flight attendants per year for the next five years.
Air Astana has also invested in Cabin Emergency Evacuation Trainer (CEET) and Real Fire Fighting Trainer (RFFT), which are scheduled to be launched by the end of the year.