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South African Airforce Training Programme 2023-2024

The South African Air Force Programme (SAAF) aim to keep air space safe. Ensuring well-trained flying corps react to potential threatening situations. They mainly use Pilots and Navigators for humanitarian purposes. 

Candidates who meet the minimum requirements can apply throughout the year and may be considered for further selection depending on the need to train new Pilots.

SAAF look for individuals who show motivation, perseverance, purposefulness, creativity, officer potential, knowledge, adaptability and analytical ability.

An offer for employment will be extended to the most successful candidates, however SAAF will first consider equal opportunity and affirmative action programmes within the Department of Defense.Ā 

Closing date of the bursary

The deadline is 30 July 2021 at 12PM.Ā 

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About This Training Programme

The South African Air Force Programme (SAAF) has two types of training, one is for Pilot, and the other is for Technical Trades.

The three year Core Service System (CSS) is a contract for pupil pilots or navigators that includes Basic Military Training, Officers Formative Course, Military Certificate Course (at the Military Academy), Ground School and Flying Phase.

Successful candidates become highly skilled, disciplined military professionals and patriotic citizens. The selection process can take over a year to select the final applicants.

Scholars should apply in the Grade 11 year for the pre-selection process in the Grade 12 year, if successful the scholar can join SAAF after completion of Matric.

The applicantā€™s current academic performance will determine whether they are eligible to apply for either the post of the Pupil Pilot/Navigator training or whether they will need to first successfully complete the DoD Youth Foundation Training Programme before commencing flying training.

To be considered for direct entry to the Flying Training Programme, applicants must have a full Matric Exemption, passed English and a second language, meet the minimum Maths and Science requirements.

Once the applicant has qualified as a pilot or navigator in the three-year period (wings date), the applicant will receive a thirteen-year contract to serve as a pilot or navigator in the SAAF

Who Can Apply?

Anyone who is a South African citizen and meets all criteria can apply. The annual recruitment process for the SAAF Programme begins in February and is advertised in the Sunday Times, Rapport and City Press. 

Minimum Requirements: 

  • South African Citizen
  • Age between 18yrs and 24yrs (or not older than 26yrs if a graduate)
  • Not be older than 28yrs upon commencement of practical flying training
  • Currently studying or holds a Matric Certificate 
  • Maths and Science: Matric certificate or N4 with 60% or higher, N5 or N6 or University first year with 50% or higher
  • Medically fit for flying
  • Have 6/6 vision (not glasses or contact lenses)
  • No hearing impairments
  • Minimum height: 1600mm, Maximum height: 1900mm
  • Buttock-heel length between 1035mm to 1343mm
  • Body weight between 53kg to 102kg
  • Sitting eye height between 730mm to 896mm, sitting knee height between 490mm to 653mm
  • Must be willing to relocate and participate in deployments in South Africa or abroad, if required
  • Compliance with fitness medical requirements for appointments in SANDF
  • Must be single upon applying and for the full duration of training
  • No criminal record
  • Recommended by a selection board

Application Requirements:

  • Certified copy of ID Document 
  • Matric certificate
  • Applications in possession of the National N-Diploma (N4, N5, and N6)
  • Admission Point Score (APS) of 17 (excluding Life Orientation) 
  • Copy of CV with Certified copies of Qualifications
  • Applicants must not have visible tattoos (lower arm, neck and face)

How to Apply?

Complete the SAAF Application form and post the form along with all the required documentation to SAAF Headquarters Directorate Human Resources Services. Those who do not meet the minimum requirements will not be considered.

SAAF Pilot/Navigator Application Form  

Contact information

For further information you can download the SAAF Pilot General Brochure

Any queries related to the Training Programme you can contact SAAF directly. Alternatively, refer to the Brochure for your nearest Recruiting Office contact numbers.

SA Air Force Headquarters

(Directorate Human Resources Services)

Private Bag X199



Tel. no.: (012) 312 2148 / 2609