United Expands Training Base


On Thursday, United Airlines celebrated the opening of its new 150,000-square-foot facility at its Flight Training Center in Denver—expanding on what the airline calls the largest training center of its kind.    

The new building allows for significant expansion, accommodating an additional 12 advanced full-motion flight simulators, six of which have already been installed. Additionally, it will allow more training capacity for the airline’s 16,000 pilots. 

United’s Flight Training Center now has eight total buildings and more than 700,000 square feet of training space and houses 46 full-motion flight simulators, according to the airline’s press release. The addition of the new building brings the Flight Training Center’s capacity to 52 full-motion flight simulators and 34 fixed training devices, totaling 86 units. 

CEO Scott Kirby was accompanied by Denver Mayor Mike Johnston to commemorate the opening of the building. “We’re growing faster than any airline in the industry and our investments in our pilots and their training are critical to support the unprecedented number of new aircraft United will add to our fleet in the decades ahead,” said Kirby. “United pilots are the best aviators in the world and the way we recruit, hire and train directly supports that high standard of excellence.” United’s new facility will help the airline keep pace with demand for pilot training after hiring more than 2,300 pilots last year and more than 300 in 2024 to date. The new building will allow the flight training center to train up to 860 pilots per day. 

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Incredible. Who would have thought even five years ago we’d be talking about an air line operator investing this level of money and resources to produce pilots due to severe shortage? Obviously the public and private sector isn’t even coming close to providing the supply needed. What an opportunity for a young person. In my wildest imagination I would never have guessed.

    • The input to United’s massive simulator building are still required to arrive with an ATP and about 1500 hours of experience. Combining that with the recurrent training for all the line pilots and the sims will be humming nearly 24 hours a day.

  2. Do you suppose declaring bankruptcy in 2002, consequent elimination of debt repayment and elimination of the employee pension plan might have something to do with this sudden wealth?

    Now, they have enough money to purchase new aircraft and expand their fleet and invest in Boom which I suspect will go kaboom in the not too distant future.