Auburn University, Delta Air Lines partnership elevates future of aviation, develops next generation of pilots

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Auburn University and Delta Air Lines are teaming up to further elevate the future of aviation, partnering together to develop the next generation of pilots.

With a recent $6.2 million grant by Delta Air Lines, the Delta Air Lines Foundation and the Jacobson Family Foundation, a new Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building will open this fall at Auburn, featuring an Airbus 320 airliner simulator. The gift is also providing funding for the university’s Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID Lab, and it will create endowed faculty professorships within Auburn’s Department of Aviation, home of one of the longest standing public flight programs in the country.

Delta is revolutionizing the way we teach aviation at Auburn,” said Bill Hutto, interim chair of Auburn’sDepartment of Aviation and director of the Auburn University Regional Airport and Auburn UniversityAviation Center. “We will see the impact of their gift for decades.”

The investment in the RFID Lab will provide a dedicated Delta Air Lines Aviation Sensor ID Bay to facilitate research and create an experiential learning center that will include executive, student, and industry teaching capabilities. Delta’s support will further the overall growth of RFID applications and contributions to sensor technology solutions across aviation to create the air travel experience of the future.

Alongside the launch of the Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building, Delta also recently selected Auburn as one of just eight colleges nationwide to launch the Delta Propel Pilot Career Path Program. Its focus will be to help identify, select, and develop the next generation of pilots. Each student selected for the program will be matched with a Delta pilot as a mentor, and the students will receive a qualified job offer from Delta, detailing a defined path and an accelerated timeline to become a Delta pilot.

The Delta Propel Pilot Career Path Program has three main areas of focus—college, company, and community. This three-pronged approach will help Delta support future aviators as well as current Delta employees who have a passion for aviation and strong interest in becoming a Delta pilot. The Propel program is the first in the U.S. to offer students their choice of three unique career routes and an accelerated timeline to progress to Delta, in 42 months or less, after flying for one of the Delta Connection carriers; a job-share flying for Delta Private Jets and instructing for one of Delta’s partner collegiate aviation institutions; or flying military aircraft for the Air National Guard or Reserves.

It all adds up to a unique partnership in which Auburn and Delta are leading the way on a global scale, helping us all stay better connected to the world.