Progress Flight Academy is dedicated to developing pilots with a professional attitude and a genuine operational capability at a reasonable cost.

The Academy specialises in the integrated course leading to the Commercial Pilot Licence with multi-engine Instrument Rating – CPL/ IR (ME).

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.

This year (2015) we introduce a ‘Premium’ Integrated Professional Pilot Course which represents a quantum leap in quality and a substantial enhancement in the operational capability of graduates.

1 progress flight academy vulcanair v68r

The key to this development is the purchase of new Vulcanair P68R multi-engine piston aeroplanes 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.

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 recently graduated our 78th cadet. 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”.

2 progress flight academy kenyairways grads

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 has been developed over more than 25 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.

3 grad 2006 progress flight academy

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

4 progress flight academy piper warrior iii

The multi-engine training now 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.

5 vulcanair v68r efis progress flight academy

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.
6 vulcanair p68 simulators under construction progress flight academy

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.

Flight Instructor team
Progress Flight Academy employs Flight Instructors who have graduated from our Professional Pilot course. All our Flight Instructors therefore hold a Commercial Pilot Licence with Single Pilot Multi Engine Aeroplane Rating and an Instrument Rating (multi-engine).
The attributes we seek in a Flight Instructor are a sound theoretical knowledge, a high standard of flying skill, a temperament suited to instruction, and a pleasant personality. The candidate must agree to a three year commitment and complete the CAA Airline Transport Pilot Licence examinations.
The Flight Instructor training is done by our most senior instructors.
7 progress flight academy instructors 2015
Flight Instructor training has been stepped up well above the attrition rate so the Flight Instructor team will be expanded to enable us to train the increased number of students who will be attracted to the new integrated course.

In South Africa the location of a flight school is critical for effective instrument flight training. There are just six controlled airports in South Africa 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.

Progress Flight Academy is based on Progress aerodrome which is perfectly located just 20 km from Port Elizabeth International Airport. 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.
8 progress flight academy location

The coastal weather is often a disadvantage for visual training, so in January 2016 Progress Flight Academy will be opening a fair weather base just 120 km inland from Progress aerodrome. This will considerably improve the efficiency of basic training.

Progress aerodrome
Progress aerodrome is a CAA licenced Private aerodrome for the exclusive use of Progress Flight Academy. There are two grass runways of 800 m and 660 m length.

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 7 km from the aerodrome. Instrument training is also very efficient as Port Elizabeth International Airport is just 20 km away.

9 progress flight academy 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 three ‘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. Additional accommodation is available on site in the ‘Thatched House’.

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.
9 a progress flight academy single study bedroom
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 library and clubhouse overlooking the runways.
9 b progress flight academy mess
Somerset East aerodrome
In January 2016 Progress Flight Academy will open a new fair weather base at Somerset East aerodrome located 120 km north of Progress. The municipal aerodrome is being developed by the construction of a new 1200 m asphalt runway. An emergency services facility including fire station has been built.
Progress Flight Academy has exclusive training rights on the aerodrome, as well as the use of necessary infrastructure which includes two hangars with offices and store, and a control tower with briefing rooms and a lecture room.
9 c progress flight academy somerset east
The Somerset East venture will give us an excellent fair weather base at an ideal distance from Progress aerodrome. Somerset East aerodrome will be used for all single-engine aeroplane training and the Night Rating training. Progress aerodrome will be used for all multi-engine and instrument training.

Somerset East accommodation
We will use the Gill College Bellevue Hostel for student accommodation at Somerset East. The hostel has 40 bedrooms some of which can accommodate two students, the associated kitchen, dining rooms and recreation areas, plus two large lecture rooms.
9 d progress flight academy somerset east bellevue hostel
The fair weather base will facilitate timely completion of the basic training and also increase the student capacity.
9 e progress flight academy student transport

Port Elizabeth International Airport
 9 f progress flight academy PLZ airport

Port Elizabeth International Airport is used for instrument training approach procedures. Perfectly located 20 km from Progress aerodrome an aeroplane departing Progress is in an ideal position to commence an instrument approach at Port Elizabeth.

The airport facilities include secondary surveillance radar and category I ILS approaches to minima of 60 m 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.