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United to Expand Flight Training Capacity

The airline is constructing a new training facility with up to 12 additional simulators.

United_UA_737_Max_9_KRNT_BoeingFactory_katie_bailey_5

A United 737 MAX 9, the larger variant of the 737 MAX 8, on the flight line. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Zera)

United is bolstering its pilot training capacity in Denver with the planned opening of a new 113-acre facility. According to The Denver Post, the Chicago-based carrier plans to add 12 new full-motion simulators as part of the project’s first phase.

Back in August, United paid $33 million to acquire a piece of undeveloped piece of land near Denver International Airport. In a land development filing, the airline said there was “an immediate need” to build a new simulator facility.

Currently, the airline has one of the largest single flight training centers in the world. Located near the new planned facility, its Flight Training Center (FTC) boasts 39 full-motion flight simulators and 15 other training devices. The facility trains 16,500 pilots each year.

United is continuing to hire roughly 200 pilots per month, according to data from FAPA.aero. In October, the airline reported a record-setting month for pilot hiring.

According to the filing, the airline hopes to have the new facility operational by late 2027. As this is the project’s initial phase, the airline notes that expansion could also expand beyond 2027.

Denver Expansion

United is continuing to eye growth in Denver, even beyond its hub at the airport. The carrier is also exploring the potential of a new corporate campus in Denver.

“United is actively investigating programmatic needs to support corporate campus activity accommodating 5,000 employees in future phases of the project,” the company said in the same filing. The airline’s main corporate office is in Willis Tower in downtown Chicago.

 

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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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