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Press and Media

Sussex flight school commemorates reopening of training facilities

Alexandra O'Loughlin11 Jul 2020 Posted in: FTA, integrated pilot training

Sussex-based commercial flight training school, FTA commemorated the official reopening of their main building, and the heart of their flight school, Wingfield House at Brighton City Airport. 

Friday 10 July was a very special day for FTA Global, it was the first day the school could reopen after several months of hard work, transforming the buildings ready to welcome back the students. 

With social distancing restrictions in place the celebrations were a lot quieter and more restricted than the school would have liked but they did not want to let such a momentous occasion go unmarked.  

The company’s Managing Director, Sean Jacob explains more: “We are very fortunate to have used the time during the country’s Coronavirus lock down to complete extensive renovations to all our classrooms and office facilities. Wingfield House has been the flight school’s main home for almost 15 years and, with so much expansion, there was a need to rejuvenate and repurpose all the available space. 

As a business delivering elite flight training for professional pilots, our aim is to become the best flight school in Europe and reopening a lighter, brighter, redesigned centre is just the beginning”. 

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The building is unrecognisable from its original existence. When FTA originally moved in, they only used a fraction of the building, which was also home to an airfield social club and office space for an external company.  

Since the school’s humble beginnings, FTA has increased the space they use at the airport fivefold. The company has trained over 2,000 students since their inception in 2006, and FTA is now responsible for almost 80% of all aircraft movements at Brighton City Airport. All of FTA’s training is delivered in the UK, unique for this industry, where flying schools often look to make cost savings delivering training abroad or through third parties. The idyllic location sets the school in a great place to welcome increasing numbers of selected students over the next 5 years. 

In addition to all the space the company has for tuition at Brighton City Airport, FTA is also has their own engineering company on site, who maintain and service the expanding fleet of aircraft.  

Building renovations were not the only thing the school delivered over the past four months. Ground school was moved to remote teaching via Microsoft Teams and students were back on-site this week to complete their mock tests, and begin revision and consolidation for their formal exam sittings later this month. Since lockdown in March they have welcomed 2 new intakes of students onto their full-time integrated flight deck programme and have everything in place to welcome a third cohort for integrated training in September. 

Whilst there has been plenty of media coverage of the impact that Coronavirus has had on the Aviation Industry, green shoots are already evident and noted industry experts are predicting a U-shaped recovery, taking the industry back to a level that will be bigger and busier than ever before.  For students embarking on a two-year training course, there probably hasn’t been a better time to train. 

Although 2020 has been a turbulent time for many businesses, FTA has seen the year as something transformative. In 2021 they will launch new and enhanced integrated and advanced commercial training programmes with extended airline preparation services.

The company are understandably encouraged and excited about what the future will bring.  

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