Silver Airways Tries To Address Pilot Shortage
PHOTO: Florida-based regional carrier Silver Airways is trying to address the pilot shortage. (Courtesy Silver Airways)
Silver Airways is trying to find solutions to a nationwide pilot shortage the old-fashioned way – by putting its money where its mouth is.
The airline is partnering with the state of Florida and its famed Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to address the shortage by providing financial assistance to the school via the Professional Pilot Apprenticeship/Internship (PPAI) Grant program.
The program focuses on increasing the level and number of potential pilots coming to the state to earn their undergraduate degree and professional pilot certifications. Silver Airways will provide additional training opportunities and a direct pathway to jobs at the Florida-based carrier.
According to the 2016 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook report, between now and 2035, the aviation industry will need to supply more than 2 million new aviation personnel worldwide, including 617,000 commercial airline pilots – 112,000 in North America alone.
The grant, which could be offered to as many as 60 students, will require completion of an undergraduate degree at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus. After satisfying academic and training qualifications for the grant, it would then provide opportunities for students to be offered jobs as professional pilots at Fort Lauderdale-based Silver Airways.
Money to support the program is from a $2 million grant to the university approved earlier this year by Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
“As a global leader in aviation and aerospace higher education, Embry-Riddle is proud of its reputation for providing world-class, all-encompassing and comprehensive degree programs for our future pilots – and that includes the vital skills they need to be successful in their careers by offering the best in hands-on training in and out of the classroom,” Embry-Riddle Interim President Dr. Karen A. Holbrook said in a statement. “An initiative such as this reflects the unfailing commitment by the State of Florida, the aviation industry and higher education to instill valuable, affordable and quality skills, knowledge, experience and opportunity to its future.”
“This partnership with the State of Florida, Embry-Riddle and Silver Airways will provide students eager to become pilots with the financial support and a solid career pathway to fulfill their dreams and allow aviation to continue to thrive in our home state,” said Silver Airways President and CEO Sami Teittinen. “This Professional Pilot Apprenticeship/Internship Grant program is yet another example of Silver’s innovative initiatives to provide opportunities for pilots to advance their careers.”
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