Test Flying Academy of South Africa Releases Statement Regarding Circulating Media Reports

26th Oct 2022

“Test Flying Academy of South Africa (TFASA) is aware of recent media reports that include reference to the Company and its activities. Many of the accusations and allegations are factually incorrect and misleading.

To avoid the further spread of inaccurate information TFASA would like to put the following statements on record:

  • TFASA is a test pilot and flight test engineer training school based in South Africa, providing training services to a variety of clients in the aviation sector, across the MEA and APAC regions.
  • TFASA is registered with the South African National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), and as such adheres to its regulation.
  • TFASA provides training to test pilots, flight test engineers, and basic operational instructor pilots under closely controlled security conditions. All training aspects and material are strictly unclassified, and provided either from open source or the clients themselves. No training involves classified tactics or other information, nor any frontline activities.
  • TFASA tutors are all experienced in the aviation sector, and many of the employees formerly served in the Armed Forces of their respective home countries.
  • TFASA has never actively recruited tutors directly from individuals serving in the Armed Forces of any NATO country.
  • The majority of TFASA’s employees join the Company from other civilian contractors, such as BAE Systems in the Middle East, as well as several from the airlines.
  • TFASA is, and always has been, in full compliance with the laws of South Africa, and every other jurisdiction in which it operates.
  • Further, having consulted UK lawyers, TFASA strongly believes that its actions, and those of its employees, do not contravene any UK laws.
  • TFASA highlights that the training it provides is also available from other civilian contractors including organisations based in the United States, Canada, and European jurisdictions.
  • TFASA has a strict Code of Conduct and is confident that the Company and its employees have, and continue to abide by its regulations.
  • TFASA highlights that none of its trainers are in possession of legally or operationally sensitive information relating to the national security interests of any country, whether those from where its employees are drawn or in which it provides training.
  • On 19 October 2022 a UK Ministry of Defence (“UK MoD”) spokesman told the BBC that: “the training and the recruiting of pilots does not breach any current UK law.” (BBC News).
  • TFASA also wishes to highlight that it has been in contact with the UK MoD for many years and they are fully aware of the nature of the company’s business.
  • Additionally, since 2013 TFASA’s British tutors have been in direct contact on an individual basis with the UK MoD and other UK Government agencies prior to undertaking training contracts with the Company’s clients, including its Chinese clients.
  • Neither the UK MoD nor any other UK Government agency has raised any objections to TFASA, or its employees with whom the agencies have been in direct contact, regarding the Company’s fulfillment of any training contracts.
  • TFASA is in the process of contacting the UK MoD, to ensure that there are no misunderstandings between the organisations.”

Source: Test Flying Academy of South Africa Press Release
Photo Credit: Test Flying Academy of South Africa | Willem Rekkie Photography

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