United Airlines officially welcomed the first class of students to its new United Aviate flight training academy on Monday. The 30 students in the academy’s first class were selected from more than 7,500 applicants. Located at Arizona’s Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR), the United Aviate Academy offers a one-year training program after which graduates move to “partner universities, professional flight training organizations and United Express carriers on their way to becoming United pilots.”
“We are thrilled to welcome our first class of students to the academy’s new home at Phoenix Goodyear airport,” said Mary Ann Schaffer, United chief pilot and United Aviate Academy board of directors member. “The facility ensures we have the resources to expand our training capabilities and that the next generation of aviators will receive industry-leading training toward their goal of becoming a pilot for United Airlines.”
The airline says it expects to add between 25 and 50 new students each month and train at least 500 students a year at the academy. According to United, its goal is for at least half of those students to be women or people of color. The company reports that it is currently planning to hire at least 10,000 pilots over the next ten years.