Petrovska – Grand Meeting: North Macedonia will position itself as a regional pilot training hub
The Minister of Defence Slavjanka Petrovska today at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels met with the Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investments, Camille Grand, with whom she discussed the capacity building and networking of the Pilot Training Center with other pilot training facilities in Europe, as part of the initiative to create a NATO structure for flight training in Europe.
“North Macedonia has the interest and ambition to continue developing the Pilot Training Center, which has unique facilities and which can make a serious contribution to the development of flight training in Europe”, said the minister at the meeting.
Petrovska said that the Center has had visible and significant results to date – it produced 27 helicopter pilots for the needs of North Macedonia and Montenegro, and enabled several hundred pilots from North Macedonia, Croatia, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nigeria and Cameroon to train on the advanced helicopter simulators for the type Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters.
Assistant Secretary General Grand pointed out the great need for flight training in Europe and said that the Pilot Training Center in North Macedonia has the capacity to be one of the pillars of flight training on the continent.
North Macedonia is one of the 10 NATO allies that launched the initiative to create a NATO structure for flight training in Europe in 2021. The purpose of this initiative was to establish a network of Pilot Training Centers that will meet the requirements of the European Allies for pilot training, and also through mutual cooperation and coordination will reduce the cost of pilot production.
Members of this initiative are North Macedonia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Spain and Turkey.
Today, at the Alliance Headquarters, Minister Petrovska, together with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the Alliance Defence Ministers, participated in a meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group, at which the support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and NATO’s commitment to supporting Ukrainian citizens and the country in their defence against unwarranted Russian aggression was once again reaffirmed.
Minister Petrovska also participated in the working dinner of the Ministers of Defence of NATO and Sweden, Finland, EU, Ukraine and Georgia, where she welcomed the applications of Sweden and Finland for membership in the Alliance and pointed out the need for constant coordination with the European Union and partner in strengthening the security of the Euro-Atlantic area.
In Brussels, Petrovska also met with her Romanian counterpart, Vasile Dinku, whom she thanked for Romania’s support in fighting the fires in North Macedonia last summer, and said that the country was committed to the continued development of bilateral defence cooperation.