Three training campuses - in Greece, Hungary and North Macedonia - have been added to the NATO Flight Training Europe (NFTE) High Visibility Project. The 120 Flying Training Wing in Kalamata, the Kecskemét Air Base, and the Pilot Training Centre near Skopje have joined facilities in Czechia and Italy on the list of official training campuses for Allied military pilots.

This important expansion of NFTE’s training base has been achieved thanks to Czechia, which has led the project since its start in 2020. It is an important step toward the NFTE’s long-term aspiration of building a complete aircrew training architecture in Europe, including a network of training campuses. Eventually, the NFTE will provide training opportunities and capacity for the entire spectrum of participants’ aircrew training requirements, including fast jet, fixed-wing, helicopter, and drone pilots. With the latest addition of campuses, NFTE now already offers training for fast-jet and helicopter pilots.

“In the current dynamic and unpredictable security environment, we need competent, ready flight crews that can contribute to NATO’s ability to defend its Allies in all domains,” NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană said. “This multinational initiative will enable adaptable pilot training to the highest standards, across Europe. This will ensure that our military pilots are well-trained in state-of-the art facilities; that they are more interoperable, and that their training is more cost-efficient for their nations,” Geoană added.

The decision to designate the three additional training facilities was taken by the 10 Allies that participate in the NFTE project: Belgium, Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Spain, and Turkey.

Going forward, the NATO Flight Training Europe project will continue its rapid expansion; more Allies are expected to join the initiative, and additional, more varied training campuses will be added. Training will start in 2023 for the first cohort of pilot students to benefit from the opportunities that the NFTE will offer.