Kansas university partners with airlines for pilot program

Guarantees jobs to graduates

June 17, 2018 - 8:06 pm

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Several airlines are combating a nationwide pilot shortage by partnering with Kansas State University to guarantee jobs to graduates.

The Kansas City Star reports regional airlines are urgently trying to fill a large number of pilot vacancies that began in 2013 after the Federal Aviation Administration required more time for pilots to get certified. The administration has also mandated that commercial pilots retire at age 65.

The university signed partnerships with Piedmont Airlines, PSA Airlines — the American Airlines subsidiary — Republic and Mesa Airlines for the Pilot Cadet Program. Under the partnership, the airlines pay students, train them and give them pilot jobs as soon as they graduate and have 1,000 flight hours.

According to data figures from the FAA, the number of active pilots in the U.S. declined by about 30,000 from 2008 to 2016.

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