Patria has concluded an agreement on the placement of the Patria Pilot Training flight school at the Tampere–Pirkkala Airport. For the purpose of finding a new ideal home base, several airport scenarios were appraised and negotiations were conducted with a number of various alternative service providers. Finally, Pirkkala was chosen because, in terms of geographical location, operating capacity and cost structure, it outperformed the competing options. In addition, vital criteria for Patria in the selection process were the long-term business continuity of the airport and the presence of several other companies operating from the same airport. At Pirkkala, a new training centre will be constructed, designed to start operations in May 2017, until which time the City of Helsinki and Finavia have undertaken for their part to ensure the availability of Malmi Airport for Patria's operations. The need for relocation arises from the Finnish Government's decision to discontinue using the Helsinki–Malmi Airport. The right of possession to the former airport area will be returned to the City of Helsinki. According to a master plan draft, the area would be available for residential construction purposes as early as from the beginning of the 2020s.
Patria will occupy approximately 40 % of the premises of the new Pirkkala training centre, while the rest of the space will accommodate the aircraft fitter training unit of the Tampere Vocational College in its entirety. In the future, the training offering available in Pirkkala will also comprise vocational modules comprising airport maintenance skills and associated security services. The training centre will provide excellent conditions for both the continuation and further expansion of the field of pilot training, as well as for collaboration between the various operators engaged in aviation industry training in general.
“The collaboration model now being implemented significantly improves the operating conditions of all parties involved and, thus, creates new growth potential for the supply of both domestic and cross-border training opportunities,” states Jukka Holkeri, Chief Strategy Officer at Patria.
Patria Pilot Training has trained hundreds of Finnish, and also foreign, commercial airline pilots since its foundation in 1998. Patria's extensive training offering comprises also a Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL) training module designed for commercial airline carriers. Patria Pilot Training uses state-of-the-art training aircraft and flight training equipment. The flight school has 20 employees in all.
Patria Pilot Training is part of Patria Group that is an internationally operating and trusted provider of life cycle support services and technology solutions for the defence, security and aviation industries. Besides Finland, the Group has operations in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Poland, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. Patria employs 2,800 professionals.