The French air force academy (FAFA) was created in 1935. Since 1937 it is located on the Salon-de-Provence air force base, in South-East of France. The goal of the academy is to train all French air force officers, whatever their specialties are (flying officers (pilots or WSO), or non-flying officers (engineer, intelligence, air traffic controller, commando, information system security, communication…).


To become career French air force officer, a student can join the FAFA through:

  • a external competitive exam (after 2 years of post-baccalaureate civilian studies, equivalent of 120 ECTS)
  • an internal competitive exam (NCOs to become officers – at baccalaureate level)
  • a selection after a civilian master degree (300 ECTS)

To become officer under contract, a student can join the FAFA after:

  • a selection at baccalaureate level to become pilot
  • a selection after an university diploma (180 ECTS) at the bachelor level


The FAFA host about 400 cadets per year, for short or long training, depending of the type of recruitment and the cadet’s profile. FAFA’s cadets are trained during :

  • 3 years to obtain
    • an engineer diploma (master degree)
    • or a master degree in political sciences
  • 2 years to obtain a bachelor in
    • "aeronautical & space systems”
    • Public management
    • Computer science & software systems
  • 3 months for the initial military & leadership officer’s training (for the cadets already awarded a civilian academic diploma)

A TRAINING BASED ON 3 PILLARS. During the scholarship at the FAFA, cadets get through :

Military training: To develop combatant, leadership & physical skills. This course provided by special forces instructors includes combat techniques, shooting, parachuting jumping and basics of survival skills.

Academic training: According to the cadet’s profile, FAFA offers different specific courses. All courses have a common basis in geopolitics, foreign languages, communication, French & international organizations…)

Aeronautical training: All cadets, even non-flying ones, will experience the 3rd dimension during their scholarship in Salon, on gliders and on Cirrus SR-20 (SR-22).

All future pilots and WSO should be awarded the pilot glider license at the end of the scholarship, before starting the ATPL and the training on engine aircrafts. The ATPL course and the pilot training are not provided by the FAFA, they start after the scholarship at the FAFA.


  Brig. Gen.



Being both a military and aeronautical school, the French Air Force Academy trains all the officers of the French Air Force.

CURRICULUM. The French Air Force Academy develops:

  • The aptitude for leadership, vital for the first operational deployment: composure, reflection, rigour, a sense of responsibility, availability, perseverance, true character and a taste for action.
  • The aptitude for teamwork
  • A sense of values: integrity, humility, ethics, service and courage.

These fundamental skills are developed through a combination of multi-disciplinary theoretical training and practical role-playing exercises which allow officers from the Academy to acquire the technical competence and human qualities to face the gamut of situations they will encounter throughout their operational career at all levels of responsibility.


The French Air Force Academy is a true aeronautical campus which aligns its training curriculum with the evolution of technology while strengthening its ties with industry and research (ONERA-The French Aerospace Lab, The SAFE -Security and Aerospace actors for the Future of Earth- cluster and The PACA- Provence, Alpes, Cote d’Azur- regional Campus for Aeronautical Trades and Qualifications…).


The Air Force Academy XXI project aims at modernising officer training through an operational and individual approach which caters to highly-valued airmen but still remains open to the other armed forces, business, national schools and universities as well as the international community and civil society.

Officer training precedes operational preparation in accordance with the commitment of our armed forces. It must allow officers to acquire competence in the aeronautical field but also to transmit ethical and moral values. Training thus becomes the objective of strategic optimisation supported by heightened consideration for the degrees and experience officers have already obtained.


The first part of the career is operational at the heart of the French Air Force. The second part of the career involves holding positions of responsibility at air force or joint staff headquarters, or in an inter-ministerial role.

FIGHTER PILOT.  Carrying out air missions in fighter squadrons, on an operational base (combat, dissuasion, interception, reconnaissance…)

HELICOPTER PILOT. Fulfilling air missions in helicopters, in squadrons, mainland and overseas (Fennec, Puma, Super Puma or Caracal…)

TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT PILOT. Fulfilling air missions onboard military transport aircraft (A400M, Transall, Hercules, Casa, AWACS, Falcon, Airbus… )

WEAPON SYSTEMS OFFICER. Planning and carrying out tactical missions onboard aircraft (working as a team with the pilot to carry out operational missions…)

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL OFFICER.Ensuring the surveillance, air traffic circulation regulation, checking and alerting within a predefined air space, while working in the operations room within the air control centre…

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER.Advising teams, providing key information to first-level fighting units to support operational planning. Preparing operational missions from initial exploiting of raw material to preparing and presenting intelligence from a variety of sources…

SPECIAL FORCES OFFICER.In protection or intervention units: managing protection measures to protect air missions at home or on overseas deployments…

ENGINEERING OFFICER (AS).Ensuring the repairs, maintenance and readiness of aircraft, weapons, computer as well as communication systems …

INFRASTRUCTURE OFFICER.Managing a specialized team within an infrastructure unit for the building maintenance and the management of existing and future buildings. Supervising preventive and corrective maintenance…



  • Air Base 701
  • Route de Saint Jean
  • 13661 Salon Air

Phone numbers, Email

  • Tel.+33 (0)4 90 17 83 24
  • Fax. +33 (0)4 90 17 83 24

Web Page

 Images from Academy




 Commandant’s Conference

In 1993 the European Air Chiefs Conference (EURAC) was established with the main objective finding new methods of study and co-operation among European Air Forces – within and out of NATO. In this context a considerable importance has been given for a common vision in the ways of education and formation of future officers

Consequently the European Air Force Academies (EUAFA) Commanders’ Conference has been established as a forum of experts in order to exchange information, co-operate and identify areas of common interest to carry out activities, with the largest possible participation of all the member nations, in the field of officer education and training.

EUAFA mission is to encourage mutual education through the sharing of information on officer training by promoting academic and military exchanges concerning cadet and instructor training.

The (EUAFA) Commandants’ Conference comprises of the Commandants of the Air Force Academies of the following European countries:


The members of the conference annually elect a Chairman, who is responsible for the preparation of the meetings and who acts as Point of Contact (POC) for all members.

The Chairman, who is appointed for one year for the period between two Commandants’ Conferences, is the Commandant (or his representative) of the Academy that is designated to host the conference at the end of his term.

Experts’ Working Group

In order to find common elements within the syllabi of the EUAFAs a Working Group was established in 1998. The ultimate goal was to identify portions of the individual training and education programs that might be suitable for common training and/or mutual exchanges

The EUAFA Working Group is responsible for the following tasks: view the member nations syllabi and focus on common fields within which to provide a basis for future co-operation in training and cadet exchanges; gather, update and disseminate the Databank (available at the website, and updated by the appropriate Working Group member) containing:

  • An overview of educational systems.
  • The structure organisational diagram of each participating country.
  • The educational syllabus of each academy.
  • The pilot education, training and timeframes in each academy.

In order to achieve a better understanding regarding main areas of training in each country’s officer training syllabus and from which common areas of interest could be found:

  • Discuss and prepare agenda items for the following EUAFA Commandants’ Conference
  • Present the findings of the Working Group Meeting including proposals for future activities to the following EUAFA Commandants’ Conference
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