Tag Archives: United Aviate Academy

United Aims to quadruple the size of its fleet of training aircraft

United Aviate Academy today announced that it aims to potentially quadruple the size of its fleet of training aircraft, in response to the surge of applications to the country’s only flight school owned by a major airline. The Academy will add 25 new, state-of-the art Cirrus TRAC SR20 training aircraft to its current fleet of 25, with the option to purchase up to 50 more.

United Aviate Academy has already received more than 12,000 applications since announcing the school in April 2021. The school officially opened in January and welcomed a historic inaugural class of future pilots, part of the airline’s effort  to train at least 5,000 new pilots at the school by 2030, with the goal of at least half women or people of color.

United Aviate Academy also recently purchased seven state-of-the-art FRASCA simulators, including some with 220-degree wraparound displays, with the first of these brand-new flight simulators arriving in April. These high-quality flight simulators feature hardware and software that operates exactly like the aircraft, for maximum effectiveness for students.

United Aviate Academy, whose corporate name is Westwind School of Aeronautics Phoenix, LLC, already has a fleet of 25 late-model Cirrus TRAC SR20 series single-engine aircraft, which feature advanced safety characteristics. This new order will add at least 25 brand-new TRAC SR20 aircraft beginning in May with options and purchase rights for up to 50 more. The SR20 features impressive capabilities that complement its stable flight characteristics. Its integrated Garmin® Perspective+ flight deck includes features found on advanced airliners such as two large flight displays, a Flight Management System keypad controller, an Electronic Stability and Protection system as well as integrated engine indication and crew alerting/warning systems.

Its durable all-composite airframe with the signature Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® makes the TRAC Series one of the safest and most versatile training airplanes available today. United Aviate Academy is also the launch partner for a significant expansion of CirrusIQ™, which allows for monitoring of flight data, enabling United Aviate Academy students and instructors to do enhanced debriefings after each lesson.

United Aviate Academy is breaking down barriers to introduce new pilots to rewarding careers. Last summer, United unveiled United Next, which will revolutionize the United flying experience and add more than 500 new aircraft. United plans to hire at least 10,000 new pilots by 2030 to meet this need. United will find those pilots through targeted recruiting, strategic partnerships and scholarship and financial aid solutions.

United Aviate Academy’s year-long training program sets up students for a career that reflects United’s high standard of professionalism and deep commitment to delivering a safe, caring, dependable and efficient travel experience. After completing their training at the academy, students can build flight and leadership experience while working within the Aviate pilot development ecosystem at partner universities, professional flight training organizations and United Express® carriers on their way to becoming United pilots. United currently has about 12,000 pilots, and Captains of United’s Boeing 787s and 777s can earn more than $350,000 per year. In addition, United pilots receive one of the highest 401(k) matches in the nation – 16% of base pay.

United officially opens its Flight Academy

United Aviate Academy’s first class of students is 80% women or people of color, outpacing the airline’s goal to train about 5,000 new pilots at the school by 2030 with at least half being women or people of color

Unprecedented training commitment will dramatically expand access to lucrative and rewarding careers while upholding United’s world-class safety and training standards

United CEO Scott Kirby, United President Brett Hart, and other officials on hand at Phoenix Goodyear Airport to officially open new school and welcome students

United, the only major U.S. airline to own a flight training school, officially opened United Aviate Academy today and welcomed a historic inaugural class of future pilots, 80% of whom are women or people of color. United Aviate Academy is a key part of the airline’s goal to train about 5,000 new pilots at the school by 2030, with at least half women or people of color. This unprecedented training commitment will dramatically expand access to this lucrative and rewarding career while upholding United’s world-class safety standards.

Last summer, United unveiled its ambitious United Next strategy to revolutionize the United flying experience and introduce more than 500 new, narrow-body aircraft into its fleet to match the anticipated resurgence in air travel. United plans to hire at least 10,000 new pilots by 2030 to meet this need with about 5,000 of those coming from United Aviate Academy.

United Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby and United President Brett Hart were joined today by Federal Aviation Administration Deputy Administrator Brad Mims and other government officials at the Phoenix Goodyear Airport to welcome the new students. The group also outlined United’s plan to help break down some of the barriers to entry through targeted recruiting, strategic partnerships and scholarship and financial aid solutions.

“Our pilots are the best in the industry and have set a high standard of excellence,” said Kirby. “Recruiting and training even more people who have that same level of talent, motivation and skill is the right thing to do and will make us an even better airline. I couldn’t be prouder of this first group of students and look forward to meeting the thousands of talented individuals who will pass through these doors in the years to come.”

Unfortunately, for many people becoming a pilot seems not only out of reach financially, but completely unimaginable. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 5.6% of pilots are women and 6% 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 and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have renewed last year’s commitment to fund nearly $2.4 million in scholarships for future aviators attending United Aviate Academy. The airline also directly works with the following organizations to educate prospects about the benefits of becoming a pilot and to find candidates for scholarship opportunities:

  • Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals
  • Sisters of the Skies
  • The Latino Pilots Association
  • The Professional Asian Pilots Association

United currently has about 12,000 pilots, and Captains of United’s Boeing 787s and 777s can earn more than $350,000 per year. In addition, United pilots receive one of the highest 401(k) matches in the nation – 16% of base pay.

United Aviate Academy expects to train at least 500 students annually as one part of United recruiting as the carrier works toward hiring at least 10,000 pilots by 2030. Aviation consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimates a worldwide pilot shortage of 34,000 aviators by 2025.

United Aviate Academy’s first class is undergoing a year-long training program that sets them up for a career that reflects United’s high standard of professionalism and deep commitment to delivering a safe, caring, dependable and efficient travel experience. After completing their training at the academy, students can build flight and leadership experience while working within the Aviate pilot development ecosystem at partner universities, professional flight training organizations and United Express carriers on their way to becoming United pilots.

“As a United pilot for more than 32 years, it’s exciting to see these new students earning their wings and beginning their aviation careers, and I’m looking forward to them joining me on the flight deck one day,” said United Chief Pilot Mary Ann Schaffer. “We need more pilots and a more diverse pool of young aviators, and United Aviate Academy will help us achieve both goals.”

United worked closely with multiple organizations, cities, and elected officials to help make the academy a reality for aspiring pilots who otherwise may not have pursued a career in aviation. The airline extends its gratitude to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and his office; the Arizona Commerce Authority; the City of Phoenix and Mayor Kate Gallego; and the City of Goodyear and Mayor Joe Pizzillo and the late Mayor Georgia Lord.

United Aviate Academy

The 340,000 square-foot United Aviate Academy facility at Phoenix Goodyear Airport includes world-class features such as:

  • Leasing a fleet of late-model Cirrus SR-20 series single-engine aircraft, which feature advanced safety characteristics
  • Nearly 50,000 square feet of office space
  • Multiple aircraft hangars
  • Dormitory rooms for student housing with ample room for expansion
  • Proximity to many auxiliary airfields in the Phoenix area
  • Favorable weather for year-round flight training

United Aviate Academy will train new pilots using Boeing’s comprehensive suite of training solutions

Photo: Boeing. Representatives of Boeing and United Airlines sign a training solutions agreement supporting United Aviate Academy at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 26, 2021. Pictured left to right: Curt Brunjes, managing director, Aviate and Pilot Strategy, United Airlines; Bryan Quigley, senior vice president, Flight Operations, United Airlines; Brendan Curran, vice president, Commercial Services, Boeing; Chris Broom, vice president, Training Solutions, Boeing. (Boeing photo)

United Aviate Academy has selected Boeing to provide a comprehensive suite of training tools, materials and digital solutions to develop and provide early career training to United Airlines’ next generation of pilots. The companies commemorated the five-year training agreement with a ceremonial signing event at EAA AirVenture.

The comprehensive training package of courseware and multimedia materials spans Boeing’s portfolio of service offerings, including its Jeppesen and ForeFlight solutions, and provides United Aviate Academy with the tools to help cadets master key concepts and information needed to confidently and safely pilot aircraft.

The agreement includes:

  • Initial cadet assessment materials with accompanying online courses and e-books, supporting higher program completion rates through analytics of data-driven assessments
  • Jeppesen Academy courseware, textbooks and digital learning materials for private, instrument, commercial, multiengine and instructor training
  • The ForeFlight Mobile integrated flight app for pilots equipped with Jeppesen NavData®, electronic charts and Airway Manuals, a one-stop shop for flight tasks like routing flights, planning and filing flight plans, managing electronic charts and maps, and gathering destination and weather information
  • Pilot supplies including Bose headsets, computers, student flight bags, logbooks and more
  • GPS NavData for the United Aviate Academy fleet