About us


SMATSA Aviation Academy (SAA) operates as part of Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA), LLC. Flight Academy is located in Vršac, Serbia – some 80km northeast of Belgrade, while the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) Training Center is located near the Belgrade International Airport.

SAA has over 40 employees, composed of experienced lecturers and flight instructors, management and administrative staff.

Why train at the SMATSA Aviation Academy?

1) Reputation

  • We have trained more than 2000 pilots since 1954 that have flown with over 30 different airlines
  • We have trained more than 2100 air traffic control officers since 1967 that are controlling traffic in Europe, Asia and Africa and our own ATM center is ranked #2 in Europe in safety

2) Capability

  • We have our own airport with an air traffic control tower, 1700 square kilometers of dedicated airspace and an updated fleet of 20 airplanes (Cessna 172S, Cessna 172N and Cessna 310)
  • We have a modern training center with a state of the art ATC simulator

3) Value

  • Our licenses are approved by EASA (no additional training is required) and we prepare you to become the best pilot or air traffic controller you can be at a very competitive price.
  • No hidden fees or surprises


SMATSA Aviation Academy and the city of Vršac have a long and reputable history of training pilots.

First flight in Vršac took place on August 11th, 1912 with the pilot-engineer Aurel Vlaiku in command of the airplane. Favorable winds made the Vršac region optimal for gliders, and the first aeronautical club, “Naša Krila” (“Our Wings”), was formed in 1925. Capital investments came with a rise in popularity of the gliding sport, first of which was the project of building the first hangar for storing airplanes in 1934.

After World War II, the intensive training of glider pilots in Vršac continued. The group “Deveti” (“Ninth”) opened a gliding school and they flew gliders that they designed and built themselves.

During these post-war years, total flying hours per year performed in Vršac were greater than in all other Yugoslav flying centers combined. As a result, the Headquarters of the Yugoslav Air Force declared Vršac to be the Center for Glider Pilot Training. In 1947, Vršac Gliding Center was handed over to the Civil Aviation Authorities of Yugoslavia.

In 1954, Civil Aviation Authorities appointed Vršac to be the official State Aeronautical Center. Glider pilots were now joined by parachute jumpers, airplane pilots and model aircraft designers. Pilots from the Vršac Aeronautical Center took place in many competitions and brought home many medals and records.

Air Traffic Control Officer (ATCO) training center was established in 1962 and the first class of ATCOs started their training in 1964. ATCO Training Center in Belgrade, a part of the Yugoslav Air Traffic Control Agency, was the only ATCO training center in Yugoslavia. Over the next 49 years, ATCO Training Center in Belgrade trained 48 national and 5 international classes of students. Through special agreements, international ATCO students from Libya, Palestine, Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina got their training at the Center.

Control of the Vršac Aeronautical Center was handed over to JAT – Yugoslav Airlines in 1972. With a new title, JAT Flight Academy, the Center took on a new role – training of professional airline pilots. Over the next 38 years, almost 2000 pilots from Yugoslavia, India, Turkey, Libya, Malta and many other countries got their wings at the JAT Academy.

In 2010, Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA) acquired the academy, giving it a new name – SMATSA Aviation Academy (SAA). SMATSA has made significant investments into the academy, updating its fleet and infrastructure to bring them in line with the needs and expectations of today’s aspiring pilots.


Vršac Campus

Vršac, one of the oldest towns in the province of Banat, is located at the southeastern rim of the Pannonian Basin, some 80km northeast of Belgrade. With its long history of pilot training, Vršac community has welcomed foreign students for over 40 years. Academy works in close coordination with the local authorities to ensure safety and security of all of its students.

SAA’s campus is located at the Vršac Airport, 4km from the center of the city.

Vršac campus features are very unique, making them very difficult to match by competitors.


SAA owns the Vršac Airport which features three runways – 1000m concrete runway and two grass runways, 800m and 600m respectively. Grass runways are used for early training to aid students in their first takeoffs and landings. With time, as their skills improve, students move up to the concrete runway.


Vršac Airport has 1700 square kilometers of airspace dedicated for pilot training. This allows SAA to perform uninterrupted flight training in the safest possible setting, without a worry that outside traffic may interfere. Vršac Airport and its vicinity offer the following navigation aids: NDB, VDF, VOR and DME. Airport is close enough to the Belgrade International Airport, where some of the advanced training may take place.


Vršac Airport is located in a controlled airspace managed by a ATC tower that is located at the airport. This allows students to learn how to communicate with the ATC from day one of their flight training and prepares them for the real world.


Reporting office is located in the ATC tower which provides a meteorology service 24/7.

Academy has a brand new ambulance and fire brigade along with a new “Follow me” vehicle.


SAA has partnered with Hotel “Srbija” in Vršac to provide accommodations to prospective students. You can find more information regarding Hotel “Srbija” on their website: www.hotelsrbija.rs. There are four options available: Room only, Room + breakfast, Room + breakfast + dinner and Room + breakfast + lunch + dinner. Please contact us for current pricing.

Belgrade Campus

Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and, with more that 2 million inhabitants, it is one of the largest cities in Eastern Europe. Air Traffic Controller Training Center is located at the Belgrade International Airport “Nikola Tesla”.


SMATSA Aviation Academy has made recent investments in updating its fleet which is composed of:

Cessna 172S

Number of airplanes in the fleet: 8

Number of seats: 4

Cruise speed: 122 knots

Cessna 172N

Number of airplanes in the fleet: 10

Number of seats: 4

Cruise speed: 122 knots

Cessna 310T

Number of airplanes in the fleet: 2

Number of seats: 4

Cruise speed: 191 knots

Alsim ALX FNPT II simulator

Number of simulators in the fleet: 1

Number of seats: 2


SMATSA Aviation Academy has the authority from the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) to carry out and organize training in accordance to JAR-FCL 1.

Click here to open our official certification document issued by Serbian CAD.

Licenses obtained from the Serbian Civil Aviation Directorate are equivalent to those obtained at any approved flight training academy in Europe.

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