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ATP Flight School Graduates 20,000th Airline Transport Pilot

The Dallas-based airline training program has trained an industry-leading number of pilots in just a few years.

The ATP JETS facility in Irving, Texas boasts over 30 flight simulators. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ryan Ewing)

ATP JETS, one of the largest providers of airline pilot training within ATP Flight School’s portfolio, has reached a significant milestone with the graduation of its 20,000th Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program (ATP CTP) student. This achievement comes as many airlines look to hire new pilots at a rapid pace following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Located just a stone’s throw away from the world’s second busiest airport, ATP JETS operates a 29,380 square-foot Part 142 airline training center, where it instructs nearly 500 pilots per month in Irving, Texas. The company’s ATP CTP program provides the essential first step toward Airline Transport Pilot certification, bridging the knowledge gap between building hours and the rigorous requirements of the airline industry.

The facility boasts avionics labs for the Boeing 737-800 and A320, 14 Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTDs), and 16 full-motion simulators. In addition, ATP has 175 instructors in the facility and proctors 4,600 FAA written exams annually.

An inside look at one of ATP JETS’ flight simulators at its Irving, Texas facility. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ryan Ewing)

Since its 2015 inception, ATP JETS has partnered with 57 air carriers, becoming the largest provider of ATP CTP training to the nation’s airlines. According to a press release from the company, nearly 50% of all new hire airline pilots attend ATP JETS for their CTP training, often sponsored by their respective airlines.

In recognition of its innovative approach to pilot training, ATP JETS recently received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to deliver Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) for the ground school portion of the ATP CTP program. This new initiative reduces costs for ATP’s airline partners, while also creating a more convenient learning experience for students, the company says.

Travis Sowers, a Frontier Airlines Cadet and Airline Career Pilot Program graduate, was the company’s lucky student. Sowers not only had the honor of being recognized as the 20,000th ATP CTP student but is also actively participating in one of the company’s direct programs.

Frontier Airlines Cadet and Airline Career Pilot Program graduate, Travis Sowers, is recognized as the 20,000th ATP CTP student. (Photo: ATP)

From a Cessna to an Airbus

Over the last several years, ATP has inked numerous partnerships with air carriers to better bridge the gap between basic flight training to the right seat of a commercial airliner. Ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) Frontier Airlines is one of a handful of ATP’s partners where students can receive all training in-house from a private pilot’s license to an Airbus A320 type rating.

Each direct program is customized to the specific needs of the partnering airline, combining an enhanced ATP CTP with a jet transition course and, as in Frontier’s case, a complete A320 type rating. Year to date, ATP JETS has successfully transitioned nearly 300 pilots to Avelo, Frontier, Spirit, and Sun Country through these direct programs. The majority of these pilots are graduates of ATP Flight School’s Airline Career Pilot Program.

ATP JETS uses both in-person and virtual learning for the ground school portion of its programs. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ryan Ewing)

With the acquisition of five new, ‘state-of-the-art’ Airbus A320 Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTDs) in 2023 and the enhanced efficiency gained through the introduction of VILT, ATP JETS is positioning to continue its growth trajectory, meeting the historical levels of pilot hiring and the evolving demands of its airline partners.

Despite some lag in September-October, U.S. airlines are still on pace to hire a record number of pilots in 2023. According to consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, the issuance of ATP licenses has been ‘robust’ across North America. In the U.S., an above-average number of ATP certificate recipients have also been pursuing jobs at commercial airlines.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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