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© Jeff Matthews    entry Jun 2014

     The Italian Air Force Academy

The Italian Air Force Academy (the Accademia Aeronautica) is the institute for the training of Italian Air Force officers. It is in the town of Pozzuoli in the province of Naples. It is among the oldest aviation academies in the world, stemming from 1923, when the air force was founded as an independent service by King Victor Emanuel III. The air force was then known as the Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force). Over the years, the academy has resided at various locations; from 1926-1943 at the Caserta Palace; then, after WWII the re-constituted post-war Italian Military Air Force Academy was located on the small island of Nisida in the Bay of Pozzuoli; and, finally, in 1961 the Academy moved to its current location atop a cliff overlooking the bay of Pozzuoli. The current premises were the results of plans by architect Pasquale Amodio (1907–1981) and manifest his position as a leading exponent of modern Rationalist architecture in Italy. The curriculum at the Academy is five years long, not including subsequent flight training for those pursuing that particular career goal. All aspects of  “air force disciplines” are offered, and the Academy works in close cooperation with the university of Naples to offer programs in Aeronautical Sciences, Political Science, Law, Economics, Medicine, Astronautics and Engineering. Admission to the Academy is subject to the passing of a test open to all Italian citizens between 17 and 22 years old with a high school diploma. As with all military service academies in Italy, applications are on the rise and the competition for admission is fierce. In 2013 there were 6,386 applications for admission to the first year at the Air Force Academy, competing for 81 slots. (Additionally, a small number of foreign students were admitted.)

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