Aspiring pilots began their training Monday at the nation’s newest flight school, located at Allegheny County Airport (AGC) in West Mifflin, as part of an industry-wide effort to relieve a critical pilot shortage.
The seven-month program at ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program combines ground school, flight lessons, simulator lessons and independent study. Upon completion of the full-time program, students earn commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates.
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ATP is the nation’s largest flight school, and the AGC facility is its 70th location. The company has trained more than 20,000 pilots since 1984, with 930 graduates placed at airlines in just the last 12 months.
“The airline industry is facing a shortage of pilots, presenting a tremendous opportunity for new pilots to establish a rewarding and lucrative career,” said Michael Arnold, director of marketing for ATP. “We’re excited to bring this opportunity to aspiring pilots in Pittsburgh and provide them with the fastest track to becoming an airline pilot.”
Students will train using airline-oriented procedures in ATP’s current fleet of 450 modern aircraft, which will soon add 25 glass cockpit Piper Archers.
ATP has partnerships with more than 30 airlines and recently announced new partnerships with Frontier Airlines, Sun Country and Avelo Airlines, allowing ATP graduates and instructors to advance directly to an Airbus or Boeing First Officer position after 1,500 hours of flight time.
These relationships provide ATP graduates with pathways to all major airlines, with some offering up to $17,500 in tuition reimbursement and bonus incentives totaling $172,500.
“We are thrilled to welcome ATP to Allegheny County Airport, which has a 90-year history in the aviation industry,” said Traci Clark, Vice President, Corporate and General Aviation for the Allegheny County Airport Authority. “More pilots need to be trained to address the national pilot shortage and having another first-class option like ATP in Western Pennsylvania is key.
“It’s another example of the important role general aviation airports like AGC have in the community and industry.”