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Civilian pilot school opening in Zadar

Zadar (Photo: Ivo Biocina/Croatian National Tourist Board)

By Josipa Zekanovic

The prestigious tourist destination of Zadar now becomes also a very important spot on the map for aircraft education. Foreign and domestic pilots will learn how to operate flights on planes worth 5 million euros. 

Your dream is flying in the sky? Do you want to be a pilot and educate yourself in Zadar, Croatia? Now you can have that precious opportunity. 

Starting next year there is a chance to sign up at the Zadar Aviation Center and attend an educational programme to become a civilian airplane pilot. 

According to the latest statistics, there is a deficit in professional airplane pilots and with this programme, Croatia is set to be a magnet for all students worldwide. The education concept will definitely be on an international level, instructors will provide lessons and practice in the English language. All instructors are highly educated and skilled, also their aircraft experience plays a huge role in this programme. 

The Zadar Aviation Center first opened last year and now the process of issuing necessary infrastructure licenses for this project are in place. The centre’s founders purchased 2200 m2 of construction land in Zemunik Gornji near Zadar and will construct an educational and practice facility there. 

Zadar Aviation Center (Photo: Josipa Zekanovic)

The concept is supported by companies in Oman who will send students from the Middle East to Zadar to attend the programme.

Besides a flight programme, IT and advertising and sales in the aircraft world will also be taught. Subjects like that will definitely extend and enrich the pilot profession. 

The founders of the Zadar Aviation Center, Ivan Janović and Boris Bratuševac, presented their programme in Zadar on Monday.

Boris Bratuševac is the general director of training at the Baltic Aviation Academy, which is the 4th biggest aircraft school in Europe. He has accomplished many years of experience, educating himself and working in the USA, Europe and Asia.

Boris Bratuševac (Photo: Josipa Zekanovic)

Ivan Janović is a captain at Silk Way Company, operating on a Boeing 747. Previous experience working as an instructor on Pilatus PC-9M and operating as a pilot on MiG-21 (military aircraft) brought him valuable knowledge.

Boris and Ivan decided to run their business in Zadar, Croatia because they claim Zadar has the best environmental, climatic conditions for aircraft flying.

Ivan Janović (Photo: Josipa Zekanovic)


Participants and guests at the presentation were: Boris Bratuševac and Ivan Janović, CEOs and founders of Zadar Aviation Center, Captain Farhan Alshaseibi, representative of Glorious Wings and CEO of the company in Oman that is sending students from that state to educate themselves in the best-ranked aviation schools in Europe, Henri Saissi from Jet Azure, (CEO of the company interested in providing finance support for the aviation school in Zadar), representatives of local and county authority, Josip Klišmanić, director of Zadar Airport and representatives of Croatian Military Air Forces.

The educational programme will be divided into practical and theoretical parts with a capacity of 100 students. 

Statements from Zadar Aviation Center CEOs.

  • This is a school for civilian pilot education. The predicted time for starting the school is 1st of September 2019. The education programme lasts for one and a half years and it costs 80,000,00 euros. Schools like this one exist in Slovenia and Austria, but also in other European countries– said Boris Bartuševac.

Mr. Janović introduced us with main ideas.

  • My name is Ivan Janović, I’m a professional pilot of a Boeing 747. Speaking about the Zadar Aviation Center concept and its program, my friend and colleague Boris Bratuševac and I got an idea about starting this business. This center is imagined as a center of excellence in a way of providing high education for pilots. At the moment we are negotiating with a couple of big companies. Flight education lasts one year and the rest, an extra 6 months, is for the theoretical part – said Janović. Before applying candidates should satisfy all requirements and pass psychical and physical tests.


This education programme encompasses fields such as flight training in school, aerial advertising, air taxi, aerial photography (survey), a simulator for flights, and also it is ideal for sightseeing from the air, so it means it will be connected with tourism, and tourism is one of the main industries in the Zadar region.

The value of the fleet is worth 5 million euro. Slovenian company Pipistrel will produce planes for the Zadar Aviation Center. They are producing 12 models of aircraft and sell them worldwide, including the Virus SW-121, the model that students at the Zadar Aviation Center will use for practical and theoretical exams. This model is very special because it’ss using regular car fuel, not plane fuel, so it means it is very economical and affordable for trainings.

(Photo: Josipa Zekanovic)

Also, its system consists of programmes for ballistic recovery maneuvers. A glass cockpit, auto pilot, and all those multiple gadgets in this plane make it great. As Bratuševac explained, it is ideal for training spins, which are considered the most dangerous maneuvers. 

In next coming year, we wish safe flights and clear sky to all students and instructors from the Zadar Aviation Center.


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