School Highlights

Aero Locarno SA is a Swiss Approved Training Organization (ATO) located on the southern side of the Swiss Alps. All our licences are recognized by the members of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Aero Locarno runs and completes several courses every year ensuring:

  • A high standard of training;
  • Advanced glass cockpit fleets (S201, DA40, DA42) and modern sim device (737NG FNPT II);
  • A close to airline-line-training program;
  • A reliable time schedule: we train students based on our capacity without overloading the structure; and
  • A fast and efficient communication with the Swiss Aviation Authority. Our in house examiners have the authorization to carry out skill tests on behalf of all the EASA CAA’s.

Aero Locarno has been established in 1985 and refunded in 2018 under a new management with a clear mid to long term mission and vision.


Delivering ATPL ab initio training based on competency since the very beginning, as already widely in used in the airline environment. To make it happen, Aero Locarno:

  • Teaches solid airline SOPs and flows at every training level
  • Carries out IFR training as line flying under supervision all around Europe, running real route sectors with “Pilot Flying” and “Pilot Watching” tasks, employing professional pilots only as IFR instructors on board of the latest generation of training aircraft


Becoming a key ATO when it comes to train professional pilots, focused on the training of a limited preselected number of cadets, up to 80 students/year.


Aero Locarno is located in Switzerland on the southern part of the Swiss Alps, over Lake Maggiore and close to the Italian border ensuring a mild weather with more than 320 sunny days per year. Our training lessons combine the busy Milan airspace together with the challenging navigation through the Alps all year long. We are open all day, every day.

The headquarter is located at Locarno airport, however an extensive planning of the schedule allows to operate a satellite operation at Lodrino and Lugano airport.

How to get to Locarno?

By airplane or train:

‐ Hourly direct train service from downtown Milan and Malpensa Airport – 1h ride

‐ Hourly high-speed train from Zurich Airport – 2h ride

By car:

‐ Motorway from Milan Area and Zurich



Courses Offered

  • Private Pilot License (PPL) (A) (Including Distance Learning)
  • Commercial Pilot License (CPL) (A) modular (Including Distance Learning)
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) (A) modular (Including Distance Learning)
  • Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) (A) integrated
  • Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) (A)
  • Night Rating (A)
  • Instrument Rating (IR) (A) modular (Including Distance Learning and Competency-Based IR)
  • Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) Advanced
  • Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) Advanced Fl(A)
  • Flight Instructor (FI) (A)
  • Class Rating Instructor (CRI) (A) (CR SEP/MEP(Land))
  • Instrument Rating Instructor Course (IRI) (A)
  • Synthetic Training Instructor (STI) (A)
  • Multi-Crew Cooperation Instructor (MCCI) (A)
  • Aerobatic Rating
  • Class Rating
  • Multi-Engine Piston (MEP) Rating (land)
  • Single Engine Piston (SEP) Class Rating (land)

Aircraft & Simulator


Aero Locarno’s fleet is made up of 12 owned aircraft, including 6 brand new Sonaca 201 Pro, DA40, DA42, all-glass cockpit. Specific training lessons are carried out on the Extra 200 (Advanced UPRT) and on the fully electric Pipistrel Velis.

  • Sonaca – Recently delivered to Aero Locarno, brand new from the factory. The Sonaca S201 Trainer Pro are equipped with Glass Cockpit G500 TXI, GTN 650 XI and GI275 instruments as back-up instrument; and Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) and Engine Data Monitoring (EDM) equipment.
  • DA40 / DA42 – The IFR horses. Equipped with G1000 and SBAS upgraded ensuring the widest range of PBN exercises including the whole RNP approach capability.
  • Extra200 – Available for Advanced UPRT courses and whoever is looking for some up side down training, including aerobatics training.
  • Pipistrel Velis – Aero Locarno is first European ATO to use an electric airplane for some lessons of the EASA integrated ATPL training program, well harmonized with the already existing full glass cockpit fleet. The Pipistrel Velis is the very first type certified electric powered airplane. Its charge is guaranteed by a solar plant of 150m2 placed over our hangar roof providing a full green concept.



MPS model Centaur FNPT-II/MCC state of the art simulator device. We carry out IFR, MCC, APS and JOC training emphasizing the development of non-technical skills required for working in a Multi Pilot Aircraft environment since the first hour of IFR training:

  • Training completely customizable with airline SOPs starting from basic IFR
  • The students get comfortable with a complex aircraft right from the beginning of their training
  • The entire training is carried out with dedicated flows and checklists bridging the students from the single crew scenario to the multi crew one



Aero Locarno is a Part CAMO and Part 145 approved organization, taking care of the Company’s fleet and well established in maintaining airworthy privately owned aircraft and other ATO’s fleets. Our certification includes:

  • Cirrus (Diamond member), Diamond (Platinum member), Pilatus (exclusive partner), Cessna and Piper approved dealer.
  • Authorized dealer for Aspen, Avidyne and Garmin avionics
  • In house Airworthiness Review Staff
  • Partnership with Part 147 schools for stages and training programs
  • Partnership with local Engineering University for the ATPL training integrated with a University Engineering Master Degree

Approvals & Partnerships


  • Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA)
  • European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)



  • Swiss Air Force

One of our biggest partners is the Swiss Air Force: Aero Locarno is the flying school in Switzerland providing the highest number of selection courses (Sphair), which is the first flying step before becoming a military Jet / Helicopter pilot.

We currently run 7 courses per year made up of 2 weeks each, collecting a total of 400 FH per year and evaluating the suitability of 42 candidates. Selection model.

– The model has been developed together with the Swiss Air Force and it is based on the Fleishman model: 9 aeronautical and 7 personal criteria are evaluated during the 10 days flying and classroom sessions by at least 2 different instructors

-Pass rate at this stage is 40% which ensures a pass rate of 95% when starting the training with the Swiss Air Force


  • Ansett Aviation Italia

Ansett is our ATO partner providing full type ratings on B737 and A320 located at Milan Malpensa Airport.

Under this cooperation the students completing the ATPL training with Aero Locarno will have access to a MCC-JOC course, integrated with a Type Rating at Ansett Aviation Italia either on the Airbus 320 or Boeing 737-800, optimizing costs and training standards’.


  • SmartLyinx

The partnership wants to deliver a continuous and consistent training path for cadets aiming for a flying career. The students completing the ATPL training with Aero Locarno and attending the Airbus 320 Type Rating with Ansett Aviation Italia will have access to the SmartLynx fleet for the base training. The partnership also allows Aero Locarno selected cadets to be assessed by SmartLynx through a continuous assessment of the candidate’s performance during the training.

Entry Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have the right to leave and study in Switzerland. Aero Locarno will support the issue of the student permit if required
  • Positively pass either the pre entry Indicative Assessment (IA) or the Compass Assessment

Pictures & Videos


Check out our guide on How to Become a Pilot in Switzerland.


Interested to become a Pilot? Speak with us!

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