South Africa is blessed by having both excellent weather and being an English-speaking environment. This makes it in many ways ideal for airline flight training. In addition, it has a competent world class aviation regulator, and world-class instructors, many of whom learned their flying under the disciplines of the air force.
For this reason South Africa has been chosen as a location for advanced flight training by a number of a foreign countries, most notably China, which has made large investments through its AIFA facilities at George, Oudtshoorn and Beaufort West.
Other schools such as Starlite and 43 Air School on the coast, and inland such as Skyhawk owned and managed by SA Flyer columnist and SAA Training Captain Mike Gough, which is based at the busy Lanseria Airport, continue to report a steady demand for the high level of training that they provide.
A frequent debate amongst those selecting a flying school is whether to train at a relatively quiet airfield where the student will have minimal time waiting on the ground at a holding point for arriving traffic, or have to spend valuable flight time to get to the General Flying Area. Those opposed to training at quieter airports argue that the experience that comes from dealing with the busy traffic flow and the demands of advanced air traffic controlling make the experience of learning to fly at a busy airport better than training at a quiet airport.
Another common debate amongst those seeking to learn to fly is whether to learn to fly on the cheapest possible aircraft, typically a so called micro-light with perhaps just a 100 horsepower engine, or something more substantial, such as a Cessna 172, with a 180 horsepower engine, but with higher operating costs.
A key further requirement for any flight training school is the ability to provide quality ground school instruction, as the theory examinations have become increasingly demanding. This subject is dealt with under a separate category tab on this website.