ATP Set To Open New Training Center In Western Pennsylvania


National training provider ATP Flight School announced this week it will open its 70th location, a new training center at Allegheny County Airport (KAGC) in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Michael Arnold, director of marketing for ATP, said, “The airline industry is facing a shortage of pilots, presenting a tremendous opportunity for new pilots to establish a rewarding and lucrative career.”

Traci Clark, vice president of corporate and general aviation for the Allegheny County Airport Authority, said, “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.”

ATP offers a fixed-cost, accelerated program and leverages airline affiliations to connect graduates with career opportunities and “capitalize on the growing shortage of qualified pilots.” The newest ATP facility will use airline-oriented procedures in its fleet of Piper Archers. ATP has orders on book to add 25 new aircraft this year, joining its existing fleet of 450 aircraft systemwide.

ATP says it maintains partnerships with more 30 airlines and corporate operators, “with some offering up to $17,500 in tuition reimbursement and bonus incentives totaling $172,500,” the school said. New partnerships recently announced include Frontier Airlines, Sun Country and Avelo Airlines. ATP said its graduates and instructors have the opportunity “to advance directly to an Airbus or Boeing First Officer position at 1,500 hours of flight time.”

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. it is really galling to see mercenary hucksters describing a piloting career as “lucrative” when it can be so boom or bust over the long term. Sure it can be wonderful in so many ways but you shouldn’t get into it unless you love it and are prepared to weather some layoff periods .
    Against the advice of their flight line Director in 2000, SUNY administrators were trying to grow the program by telling greedy New Yorkers they could get rich as airline pilots. Within days of 9/11 they stopped processing admission applications and tried to chop up and sell off the program to private buyers, then fired that Director when he and some students organized support from parents and legislators to keep it open by emphasizing that training starts often need to be countercyclical, there are many flying jobs other than airline pilot, and, again, the career is challenging, enjoyable and satisfying… not “lucrative”.

  2. As officially an Old Man now myself (hopefully growing wise) I agree with @Wise OldMan that “you shouldn’t get into [flying] unless you [really, really like] it.*

    (* I don’t use the word “love” here because that raises flying to the status of an ‘idol.’)

    In addition to the reason that Wise OldMan gave, I would rather fly with someone who is passionate about flying rather than someone to whom it is “just another job.” (I.e., is doing it for the money.) While perhaps hard to quantify, I believe that that passionate pilots make better – and safer – pilots.

    As an example, I’ve been trying to teach myself Spanish for about 20 years now. With no real motivation to learn it, I’m not passionate about it. I’ve merely been dabbling in it all these years. And while I enjoy learning the idioms (“I pay for the broken plates”), and while I enjoy learning about my own misuse of English as I learn about Spanish, it’s still very difficult for me to learn Spanish.

    But I joke that if I were courting a señorita, I would learn Spanish almost immediately!

    And so I think it is with flying. You learn faster and automatically. I mean, who’s going to read the AIM cover-to-cover if they don’t really, really like flying? (Akin to reading the Bible cover-to-cover because you love God.)

    It might be hard to understand the contrast here, because you’re a passionate pilot, as evidenced by being here on AvWeb of your own volition. And so, without even trying/working at it, you’re learning new things about flying because you want to. Not because it’s just a job and so you have to.

    But you might know pilots to whom flying is just a job. (Lucrative or not.) I’ve never been a Sim Instructor. But I’m guessing that Sim Instructors can tell who are there to challenge themselves (and so learn new things) verse those who are there only because the job requires it. And so, even if they can shoot an engine out ILS perfectly, do you really want them making life or death decisions with your life?

    Would you want your heart surgeon to be a dabbler? Or a surgeon whose heart is in it?