Frontier Airlines launched a pilot cadet program to address the national pilot shortage. Frontier Airlines now offers a program that includes flight training at one of more than 70 ATP Flight School campuses across the United States, a modest stipend and, once requirements are met, a guaranteed slot as as First Officer of Frontier Airlines.
Cadet Pilot Program Requirements
In order to enter Frontier Airlines Cadet Pilot Program, applicants must demonstrate that they can be a flexible and mobile professional, pass a first-class FAA medical exam, travel globally, and obtain ATP funding and tuition. If they meet the requirements, then there are several levels of interviews, background checks and medical examination to pass to enter the program.
Once the requirements have been met, the training lasts two years and includes:
- First year
- Private Pilot
- Commercial single engine
- Commercial multi-engine
- Certified Flight Instructor
- Certified Flight Instructor Instrument
- Multi-engine flight instructor
- Second year
- Gain experience and time by giving flight instructions or flying for an operation 135
The full second year is required due to FAA rules regarding flying for an air carrier under an airline transport pilot license – all pilots must hold 1,500 qualifying flight hours. These regulations changed following the Colgan Air Flight 3407 tragedy.
Frontier Airlines will pay program pilots a monthly stipend of $500 during the 24 months the program takes to prepare to become a Frontier Airlines first officer.
Brad Lambert, vice president of flight operations for Frontier Airlines, told 9 News,
“We will have a mentorship program to keep an eye on them as they train while gaining experience.”
In this way, Frontier Airlines can help cadets make the right choices to persevere in a job as a First Officer with Frontier Airlines.
Frontier Airlines objectives
Photo: Frontier Airlines
The plan is to take 35 cadets per month through the program. As Lambert said, the goal is to get “safe, competent pilots by the time they come to us.” Once there, they will learn the art of flying Frontier Airlines jetliners.
“It’s almost like a journeyman process where you spend three or four years learning your trade before moving into the left seat. So they’ll be first officers for several years, before moving into the captain’s seat.”
With the acquisition of new aircraft by Frontier Airlines, namely the Airbus A321neo, now may be the time to consider programs like this.
Other US airlines also offer similar programs
Photo: Alaska Airlines
Many other airlines have similar programs designed to snatch applicants from the metaphorical streets and into the first officer’s seat on their commercial planes. Alaska Airlines’ Ascend Pilot Academy is an example, as is United Airlines’ Aviate Academy. Delta Air Lines also has a propulsion pilot career path program, while in Europe, Lufthansa in Germany and Iberia also have their own programs.
With an industry talent shortage that persists in the post-COVID world, airlines want to develop the people they need for many years to come.
Are you interested in programs like the Frontier Cadet Pilot Program? Please share in the comments.
Source: 9 News