OSM Aviation takes controlling stake in SAA, open new school

OSM Aviation is acquiring 51 per cent of the shares in Scandinavian Aviation Academy (SAA), which will become the largest pilot school in the Nordic region. To increase its capacity, SAA is to open a new training facility, – OSM Aviation Academy -, at Norway’s Arendal Airport Gullknapp, where both Norwegian and international students will receive training with a developed career path and permanent employment as a pilot with OSM Aviation.

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“We’ve collaborated with SAA, and are very pleased with its expertise and qualities,” says Espen Høiby, CEO of OSM Aviation. “As owner, we will contribute to continuing the development of the academy, not least through a commitment in Norway. In addition, we believe that offering the students a programme which will give them attractive jobs as soon as they graduate could be positive both for them and for ourselves.”

SAA was established in 1963 and currently operates a pilot school at Stockholm-Västerås International Airport in Sweden and another at San Diego in the USA. These facilities have about 100 students between them. The school at Gullknapp is expected to become operational in the autumn of 2018, and will be gradually built up to a minimum capacity of 100 students.

We’re pleased to have acquired a long-term industrial player as our largest shareholder,” says Olof Bärve, CEO of SAA. “Through a closer and more integrated collaboration with OSM Aviation, we’ll continue our commitment to quality in training while expanding both capacity and student programmes.

OSM Aviation’s workforce includes 1 400 pilots among just over 5,000 employees. OSM say that demand for new pilots is high, and students from SAA will have opportunities to take the necessary specialisations tailored to the requirements of the airlines they are to fly for. This career path is being shaped by OSM Aviation as the employer. The Gullknapp pilot school will offer a modern educational package with qualified instructors and very suitable aircraft for use in training. In addition, a technically advanced aircraft simulator will form part of the teaching.

With classrooms, offices and a hangar, the school will gradually build up a capacity of at least 100 students with a staff of just over 30. It will collaborate extensively with the SAA facility in Sweden on such aspects as educational curricula, systems and routines to maintain quality and safety as well as meeting regulatory requirements.

In addition, SAA owns a company which provides maintenance and service for the aircraft used in the training and education. This will also be utilised by the new school in Norway.

A full two-year course at the Gullknapp school costs about EUR 100 000. Norwegian students pursuing an officially-approved airline pilot course are being offered a favourable financial package this year by the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, which allows them to receive up to the full cost of the course in support for the two-year period of study.

Author: Adrian Mahovics

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