Major carriers across the country have been hiring pilots at a record number since the recovery from the pandemic. Retirements…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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