PHOENIX - A new flight school has opened at the Phoenix Goodyear Airport.
The United Aviate Academy is run by United Airlines, which is now the only major airline to own its own flight school. The company hopes it will help them solve a major problem.
"It's our leaderships answer to a business problem, so it's a business solution," said United Airlines First Officer Carole Hopson. "What we said was with the pilot shortage, we want to expand the talent pool."
The goal of the flight school is to bring the opportunity to more people interested in a career in aviation. United expects to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030, with the goal of half of those students being women or people of color.
First Officer Hopson, who has been a pilot for more than 20 years, is hoping to inspire more women to join the industry.
"Part of that is to find talent in places that we've never looked," said First Officer Hopson. "So, things like access and money, look at women and people of color in the flight deck. We want to erase those barriers, and Aviate was born."
Classes started in December 2021, and they are already filing up.
"This opportunity is unmatched. It's a straight pipeline to United, which is my ultimate goal," said student Aidan Mack.
Students like Mack will graduate in about a year.
"Everyday we're in the plane flying, and then we have ground school at night, learning the fundamentals behind flying," said Mack. "Everyday, we are in the plane."
United Aviate Program
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