Higher education

The flight school of the future is in Skellefteå

Electric flights, northern lights and personal development - the Green Flight Academy in Skellefteå attracts students from all over the world to a new kind of flight school in the north.

- The aviation industry is undergoing major changes. We want to build the pilots of the future as confident and soft leaders, says Cecilia Holmlund, site manager at Green Flight Academy.

At Skellefteå Airport, aspiring pilots gather for the world's most sustainable flight school. In the spring of 2024, the first students will graduate from the Green Flight Academy - where large parts of the training take place with electric flights. But the training is not limited to electric flights, it includes all elements for a commercial flight certificate.

This allows you to apply for a job as an airline pilot. Once there, you have to take a special course for the plane you are going to fly," says Cecilia Holmlund, site manager at the Green Flight Academy.

Students from all over the world

In August 2021, Sweden's most powerful electricity supply for aviation was inaugurated at Skellefteå Airport and a few months later the first two permanently placed electric aircraft arrived at Green Flight Academy. With students from Australia, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands, among others, the program is an international melting pot, and for many applicants, the opportunity to experience northern Sweden was a big part of the attraction.

- The theoretical training takes place on Campus Skellefteå and the student accommodation is 150 meters from the flight school and ten minutes from the city center. "Here the future pilots get to live student life with the other students - it has been very much appreciated," says Cecilia Holmlund.


Jeroen Gort is one of the first students at the Green Flight Academy in Skellefteå. He moved here from the Netherlands with the goal of becoming a long-haul pilot for KLM - a dream since childhood.

- "I chose Green Flight Academy for the opportunity to fly electric aircraft and be part of a new era in aviation. They show that more sustainable aviation education is possible, and it was a perfect match for me," says Jeroen Gort.

In addition to flight training and student life around campus, Jeroen enjoys the outdoors in the surrounding nature. Coming to Skellefteå as an international student went very smoothly, he says.

- There are many international students and workers here. I immediately felt welcome and I like Skellefteå very much.

Education that builds confident leaders

The training takes 18-20 months and about a third of the flight hours are carried out with electric aircraft. The rest of the time, other types of aircraft are used to practice navigation, which requires longer flights.

- "Training with electric aircraft has some special requirements. 'You have to be a bit clever in your scheduling as you can't be in the air for more than 40 minutes at a time with the batteries that are in the planes today,' says Cecilia Holmlund.

But it is not only ecological sustainability that is in focus at the Green Flight Academy, the training is based on the keywords "consideration, innovation and openness" - a clear forward movement in an otherwise traditionally conservative and hierarchical aviation industry.

- We work on personal development - being a good communicator, team player and having the ability to cooperate in the cockpit. The few accidents that occur today are due to the human factor and this is a profession where you can work in different teams every day, with colleagues from different cultures where not everyone has the same mother tongue. Communication skills are crucial," says Cecilia Holmlund.


Senast uppdaterad:
12 March 2024