Norwegian company Pilot Flight Academy (PFA) plans to open a second training base at Notodden Airport in Telemark county to complement its existing facilities at Oslo Sandefjord Airport.

The new training base will consist of a combined school, office and hangar covering 1,200 square metres. However, PFA’s CEO Frode Granlund said a further 1,200 square metres (the other half of the building) is also available for the company’s use.

“The requirement for new pilots is growing worldwide and with Norway’s advantages, such as VAT-free pilot education and the availability of airspace and airports, we want to develop PFA further and we are investing in more capacity,” explained Granlund.

PFA’s new base is set to open in June 2018. Although there will initially be classroom facilities for up to 60 students at Notodden, Granlund revealed in the beginning the company will continue to conduct all simulator training at its Oslo base and use the new base predominantly for flight training.

To enable flight training at Notodden, PFA is soon to invest in four new Diamond DA40 aircraft set to be delivered in spring 2018 ahead of the base opening. Granlund confirmed this order would be increased should there be the demand.

The base will also have modern student dorm building next to the academy similar to the one PFA is just completing at Sandefjord. The dorm will have 48 rooms to start, but Granlund said this can eventually be expanded to 192.

Granlund predicts PFA will see more than 200 self-sponsored students across its two bases next summer alone, but within two years the expansion at Notodden will mean it has the capacity to host up to 600 students, enabling the company to take on airline contracts.