United Airlines officially became the only major U.S. airline to own a flight training school with the opening of United Aviate Academy on Jan. 27. The moment was made even more historic with its inaugural class, which is 80 percent women and people of color.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 5.6 percent of pilots are women and 6 percent are people of color. Earning a commercial pilot’s license in the U.S. can cost about $100,000 and becoming an Airline Transport Pilot requires 1,500 hours of flight time, which requires a significant commitment. United Aviate Academy set an ambitious goal to train about 5,000 new pilots by 2030, with a goal of 50 percent of those pilots being women and people of color, and it’s clear with this inaugural class United is well on its way to developing the next generation of pilots.
Approximately 500 students annually will take part in United Aviate Academy’s year-long training program before then working within the Aviate pilot development ecosystem at partner universities, flight training organizations and on United Express carrier flights.
Additionally, these students train in state-of-the-art facilities at Phoenix Goodyear Airport. Among the world-class features at the 340,000-square-foot facility are a late-model Cirrus SR-20 single-engine aircraft with advanced safety characteristics; 50,000 square feet of office space; multiple aircraft hangars; dormitory spaces; and expansion possibilities. Its proximity to multiple airfields and favorable, year-round weather ensure top-quality training at a first-rate institution.
Furthering its commitment, United Airlines and JP Morgan Chase renewed their promise to fund $2.4 million in United Aviate Academy scholarships. They also work with several organizations to educate on the possibilities of a career in aviation and find potential scholarship candidates, including the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Sisters of the Skies, the Latino Pilots Association, the Professional Asian Pilots Association, the National Gay Pilots Association and Women in Aviation. A career as a pilot at United Airlines means the potential to earn more than $350,000 per year with one of the highest 401(k) matches in the nation.
The United Next program, introduced last summer, will revolutionize the flying experience. The goal is to meet the much-anticipated resurgence of air travel with more than 500 new, narrow-body aircraft and hire more than 10,000 new pilots by 2030 to meet the need.
United is poised to ensure the future of aviation shines brighter than ever before. Learn more about United Aviate Academy.
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