On Friday November 30, students and staff at 43 Air School gathered to hear CEO Attie Niemann address them and to celebrate the 30 year birthday anniversary of the school.
“A lot has gone into 43 Air School over the past 30 years and we can all hold our heads up proudly,” said Niemann as he commended all involved at the school for their dedication and commitment to the continued success of the company. “Today, we honour the people who have made 43 Air School what it is today,” said Niemann.
Students and staff were treated to cupcakes in The Wright Place, the air school’s bar and museum, where 600 cupcakes were on display.
The VIP guests soon arrived which included local representatives from various organisations as well as past air school staff including Penny Kennard-Davis who was married to Jim Davis, the original founders and owners of the 43 Air School from 1988 to 1998. Also in attendance was Pierre du Toit who took over as the managing director of the school in around 1998.
“Penny was then still working at 43 Air School and was also a shareholder at that time. Jim Davis moved to Australia. During these years 43 Air School was going through some tough financial times and Pierre was instrumental in getting 43 on a sound footing during these difficult times. He was then appointed the CEO of 43 Air School after the acquisition by NAC (Part of the Imperial Group – a listed company) in 2002 until 2009,” said Niemann.
A presentation was given by Niemann who highlighted some of the history of the air school from its early days as it started as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme during World War 2. After the war the school closed down and was bought by Jim Davis in 1988 when 43 Air School was founded.
“There have been many changes over the years and we chose to take the hard route which is why we are successful and have become a global competitor,” said Niemann.
The 43 Air School was awarded the prestigious Best General Aviation Company 2018 at the South African Civil Aviation Excellence in Aviation Awards recently.
“What is important to note is that this is not just in the training category but all others and against every other Aviation Company in the industry,” said Niemann.
The school was also awarded the runner-up in the Flying Safety Category and 43 Air School is still the only aviation company in Africa that has a program that can take pilots from start to airliner Boeing and Airbus qualification in one program.
“43 Air School is a world-class training organisation not only for pilots but also aircraft engineers and air traffic information services. We have students from 50 countries and four continents training at our facilities in Port Alfred, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth,” said Niemann.