Embraer is to establish a new training centre for pilots, maintenance technicians and cabin crew at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport during the first half of 2018.

The Johannesburg location was chosen to address the underdevelopment of the aerospace industry in the region. The centre will complement the OEM's existing training facilities in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; and at OGMA near Lisbon, Portugal.

It will be equipped with an E-Jets Full Flight Simulator, four Flight Management System Simulators, a door trainer and an over wing trainer to deliver pilot training and ground school, engineering courses and E-Jet familiarisation training for cabin crew.

When fully operational, the centre will be able to train around 2000 professionals each year, including flight crew and engineering technicians from Embraer operators such as Airlink, the centre’s anchor and launch customer.

“Our investment in this training facility underlines the importance of the African continent to Embraer and our commitment to realising the potential for improved connectivity across the continent,” commented Johann Bordais, President & CEO, Embraer Services & Support. “Currently, Africa’s share of global air traffic is less than 3%. IATA predicts that by 2034, air traffic in Africa will grow with an average yearly increase of 4.7%, reaching a total of 294 million passengers. Seven of the ten fastest growing passenger markets over the next 20 years will be on the African continent.”

Embraer aircraft have been operating in Africa since 1978, when the first Bandeirante turboprop arrived on the continent. Currently, there are 150 Embraer aircraft in operation with 43 airlines across 22 African countries.