Oxford Aviation Academy

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CAE Oxford Aviation Academy
Oxford Aviation Academy.jpg
Former names
Motto "Skills For Flight"
"Succeed Through Our Experience"
Type Private
Established 1961
Endowment £ 155.1 million (2012)[citation needed]
Chancellor CAPT.Steve Rees
Vice-Chancellor CAPT.Dave Pratt*MCC CFI: CAPT.Laurie Ramage*CFI: CAPT.Paul Taylor
Students +450
Location Oxford, England, GB
Campus Oxford (Main campus)
Phoenix (Foundation Flight Training)
Melbourne (Melbourne Academy partners with Swinburne University of Technology)
Gondia (Flight Academy)
Colours      Oxford Blue
Nickname CAE OAA
Affiliations OAT Media
Parc Aviation
CAE Inc.
Mascot CAPT.Pete Pitcher
CAPT.Nick Mylne
CAPT.Tom Armstrong
Website http://caeoaa.com

Oxford Aviation Academy (OAA) is the largest ab initio flight training network in the world[citation needed] and it provides integrated aviation training and resourcing services. Professional airline pilots have been trained at Oxford Aviation Academy flight school since 1961.

OAA operates 125 training aircraft, 64 simulators and 10 training centres delivering a portfolio of aviation training courses. OAA's 3 ab initio airline pilot training[1] schools have trained more than 26,000 professional pilots over the past 50 years. OAA's 7 type training centres offer approved airline pilot, cabin crew[2] and maintenance engineer[3] training on a wide range of aircraft types including Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, BAE Systems and Embraer.

Oxford Aviation Academy includes the former Oxford Aviation Training — a commercial pilot training school based at London Oxford Airport in the United Kingdom — and Phoenix Goodyear Airport in the United States of America; the former SAS Flight Academy, the former GECAT and the former BAE Systems Woodford, UK Training Centre, all of which are majority owned by STAR Capital Partners of London with a minority stake of less than 20% retained by GE Commercial Aviation Services.

The Airline Pilot Programme First Officer course is a full-time, Integrated Joint Aviation Authorities/European Aviation Safety Agency (JAA/EASA) course leading to the award of a 'Frozen' (becoming unfrozen when the candidate has completed 1500 hours in a multi-pilot environment) Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).

Oxford Aviation Academy history[edit]

Oxford Flying Club was officially opened by the Mayor of Oxford in 1939. However, restrictions placed on civil aviation during World War II curtailed its activities and the airfield operated as RAF Kidlington for the duration of hostilities. The club reopened in 1947, renamed as the Oxford Aeroplane Club. During the 1950s it gradually increased its fleet and, by 1960, had become a flying school geared to the training of professional pilots.

In 1961, the flying school's parent company, Oxford Aviation, merged with the Pressed Steel Company to become British Executive Air Services Ltd. (BEAS). Dedicated ground school buildings and student residential accommodation were provided on site, and the first fully integrated Commercial Pilot's Licence (CPL) and instrument rating (IR) courses began in May 1962.

In 1963, the BEAS Flying Training Division was renamed Oxford Air Training School. Since then, over twenty thousand trained commercial pilots and aircraft engineers have graduated from the school. Including the first ever Commercial Space Shuttle Pilot's Licence which was awarded in 1989.[citation needed] The school changed its name to Oxford Aviation Training (OAT) in the 1990s.

The headquarters of Oxford Aviation Academy (London Oxford Airport, Oxford, GB)

On 19 June 2007, OAT's parent company BBA Aviation sold OAT to GCAT Flight Academy (formerly General Electric Commercial Aviation Training, part of General Electric and SAS Flight Academy, part of Scandinavian Airlines System) for $63 million (£32 million). The deal was backed by GCAT Flight Academy's majority shareholder, STAR Capital Partners an independent venture capital fund.

In early February 2008, GCAT Flight Academy changed its registered name to Oxford Aviation Academy Ltd. Oxford Aviation Training Ltd. changed its registered name to Oxford Aviation Academy (Oxford) Ltd. OAT's branding and logo adorning the training centre at Oxford and Goodyear Airports were replaced, with the new logo bearing the title 'Oxford Aviation Academy'. The insignia on the tailplanes of its Piper PA-28 Warrior and Piper PA-34 Seneca aircraft were also replaced with the new logo design. The new logo also appeared at the 8 locations formerly named GCAT Flight Academy, including those in Scandinavia and Hong Kong that GCAT purchased from SAS Flight Academy and the Woodford Training Center purchased from BAE Systems. These changes were a result of both GCAT Flight Academy and Oxford Aviation Training being re-branded as Oxford Aviation Academy.

In 2008, OAA acquired General Flying Services, based in Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia.[4]

APP First Officer[edit]

A Piper PA-44 Seminole of OAA's Australian campus

The flagship course of OAA is the full-time ab-inito Integrated ATPL Training which is called 'Airline Pilot Programme First Officer' (APP First Officer).

It is a JAA approved full-time course and is used to train pilots to the level of proficiency necessary to enable them to operate on a multi crew aircraft in the position of a first officer, within a commercial airline. The course is designed for trainees who have little or no previous flying experience. The academy has strong connections with many of the world's leading airlines having built up a reputation for providing pilots to airlines through cadet schemes. Since 9/11, these "sponsored" programmes are very rare and most trainee's are now "self-sponsored," and can seek employment with any airline (using the JAA licence) upon graduation.

After a rigorous pre-selection process, successful candidates are offered a place on the Airline Preparation Programme, subject to Class 1 JAA medical requirements. The initial theory and 14 JAA/EASA ATPL exams as well as the Instrument Rating and Multi Crew Co-operation/Jet Orientation Course (MCC/JOC) are completed at OAAs Oxford Training Centre (located at Oxford Airport) while the Commercial Pilot's Licence (CPL) is gained at OAA's training facility at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, Arizona.

Course structure[edit]


Oxford's World awards

To gain a place on the course it is necessary to complete a one-day assessment at OAA's Oxford training centre. The assessment is designed to test candidates':

  • Aptitude
  • Capacity
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Personality
  • Team Skills
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Communication Skills
  • Commitment

If successful in completing the assessment to the necessary standard then applicants are able to join the APP First Officer course.

Ground School[edit]

The first six months of the course are all completed in Oxford and it is during this time that students work to complete the 14 JAA/EASA ATPL theoretical exams. Completion of these exams is a pre-requisite to travelling to Phoenix to complete the practical flying and taking of the CPL Skills Test.

ATPL Ground School (Oxford)
CBT lesson in the ATPL Ground School at OAA

The 14 ATPL exams are as follows:

At the end of the six months students will have completed 760 hours of ATPL Ground School. The average grade for students on an APP course is 80%. OAA's student pass rates are above average with more than 60% passing all 14 JAA papers on the first attempt.[citation needed]

Initial Flight Training[edit]

The next five months of the course are spent in Falcon Field Airport, United States which allows students to take advantage of the good weather and get used to very busy General Aviation Airspace. The first 115 hours of flying are completed on the Piper Archer (PA28), a single piston engine aircraft, including 3hours on Extra 300L for upset recovery training. 10 hours of flying are then completed in the Piper Seminole (PA44), a multi engine aircraft which is used for the CPL Skills Test. When successful then students return from Phoenix, Arizona with a Multi Engine Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

Advanced Flight Training[edit]

The Advanced Flight Training takes place back in Oxford and students will complete 40 hours time in a Flight and Navigation Procedures Trainers (FNPT) II fixed base simulator and 20 hours flight time in the Piper Seneca V (PA34). This flying is designed to teach students to use aircraft instruments for navigation and culminates in the Instrument Rating Skills Test (IRT).

Multi Crew Co-operation (MCC) and a Jet Orientation Course (JOC)[edit]

The final phase of training takes place over three weeks using a six axis full motion Boeing 737-400 simulator at Oxford. 20 hours are dedicated to the MCC which teaches students how to work effectively in a multi crew environment. The final 20 hours focus on the JOC allows students to get used to operating a modern jet airliner.

In summary, the integrated course consists of 220 hours of flight training and 760 hours of ATPL theoretical knowledge training and lasts approximately 20 months – culminating in the issue of a EASA CPL with Instrument Rating and Multi Crew Co-Operation (MCC) credit. Following this course, a pilot is now qualified to gain employment in any airline within the EASA licensing region as a First Officer.


Boeing 737-400 simulators at Oxford, UK
Full flight simulators at the CAE Oxford Aviation Academy centre in Brussels
The new Cessna 182s of Oxford Aviation Academy at London Oxford Airport for easyJet Cadet Pilot Programme "MPL training". (May.2012)
Aircraft Fleet Location
Piper PA-28 Warrior 31 Phoenix Goodyear Airport, United States
Piper PA-28 Archer TX[6] 22 Phoenix Falcon Field, United States
Piper PA-34 Seneca 22 London Oxford Airport, GB & Phoenix Goodyear Airport, United States
Piper PA-44 Seminole[6] 10 Falcon Field Airport, United States & Moorabbin Airport, Australia
Cessna 172s & Cessna 182s 30 London Oxford Airport, GB & Moorabbin Airport, Australia
8KCAB Decathlon 2 Moorabbin Airport, Australia
Socata TB-20 Trinidad 2 London Oxford Airport, GB
King Air BE90 2 Moorabbin Airport, Australia
Zlín 242L 1 London Oxford Airport, GB
Total 122
Simulator Location
Airbus A320 London, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Singapore
Airbus A330/A340 London, Stockholm, Hong Kong
BAe 146 Manchester
Bell 212/412 Stockholm
Boeing 737-300/400/500 Oxford, London, Riga, Stockholm, Oslo
Boeing 737 Next Generation London, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Hong Kong
Boeing 747 Buenos Aires, London
Boeing 757/767 London, Stockholm
McDonnell Douglas MD-80 Stockholm, Copenhagen
McDonnell Douglas DC-10 London
Bombardier CRJ200 Oxford, Melbourne
Bombardier Dash 8-200/300/400 Stockholm, Oslo
Cessna 172s & Cessna 182s Oxford, Melbourne
Embraer 170 London
Fokker F28 Stockholm
Fokker 50 Stockholm
Hawker 700 London
Piper PA-28 Warrior Phoenix
Piper PA-34 Seneca Phoenix, Oxford
Saab 340 Stockholm
Saab 2000 Stockholm
Piper PA-44 Seminole Melbourne


Training Centers[7]
Location Type of training center
Oxford, Great Britain (Headquarters) Airline Pilot Training - Ab Initio Europe & Simulators & Headquarters
Phoenix, Arizona, United States [8] Airline Pilot Training - Ab Initio Europe & Simulators
London Heathrow, Great Britain Flight Crew Training (Type rating) & Simulators
London Gatwick, Great Britain Flight Crew Training (Type rating) & Simulators
Manchester, Great Britain Aircraft Maintenance Training & Cabin crew Training & Flight Crew Training (Type rating) & Simulators
Melbourne, Australia Airline Pilot Training - Ab Initio Australia & Simulators
Hong Kong Flight Crew Training (Type rating) & Simulators
Stockholm, Sweden Flight Crew Training (Type rating) & Simulators & Cabin crew Training
Seletar, Singapore Flight Crew Training (Type rating) & Simulators & Cabin crew Training
Copenhagen, Denmark Flight Crew Training (Type rating) & Simulators & Cabin crew Training
Oslo, Norway Flight Crew Training (Type rating) & Simulators & Cabin crew Training
Beijing, China Aviation Resourcing
Shanghai, China Aviation Resourcing
Dublin, Ireland Aviation Resourcing
Shannon Airport, Ireland Aviation Resourcing
Tokyo, Japan Aviation Resourcing


See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20121211204147/http://oaa.com/pages/training_courses/ab_initio_europe/index. Archived from the original on 11 December 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20121230185654/http://www.oaa.com/pages/training_courses/cabin_crew_facilities. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20121017042233/http://oaa.com/pages/training_courses/aircraft_engineer. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "General News". Moorabbinairport.com.au. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2013-11-24. 
  5. ^ http://www.oaa.com/pages/about_us/fleet/aircraft/
  6. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20121214215053/http://www.oaa.com/pages/about_us/locations/oxford. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20121028234108/http://oaa.com/pages/about_us/locations/arizona. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°50′01″N 1°18′52″W / 51.8336°N 1.3144°W / 51.8336; -1.3144