How Aspiring Airline Pilots are Gaining the Competitive Edge

Aspiring airline pilots are gaining a competitive edge in today’s job market by increasing their qualifications and completing the Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program (ATP CTP).

Airline pilots are required to hold an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate. Like other certificates, it is earned after meeting experience requirements and successfully passing an airman knowledge test and a practical test. Before taking the knowledge test, however, pilots must complete the ATP CTP. This course prepares pilots for the FAA’s highest certificate and combines 30 hours of ground school with full-motion simulator training.

Pre-pandemic, airlines would sponsor a pilot’s ATP CTP before attending the airline’s indoctrination training. After this, the pilot would complete the practical test while earning their type rating. Today, the ATP CTP is a competitive advantage. It separates those who have it from those who don’t, as airlines are starting to require that pilots hold an ATP certificate. For ATP Flight School graduates, this isn’t a problem.

In 2020, ATP Flight School began including the ATP CTP in the Airline Career Pilot Program, so students could meet future hiring requirements and be the most competitive. Through its ATP JETS (14 CFR Part 142) training center in Dallas, ATP Flight School is the only school able to offer this FAA-approved program in conjunction with a proven accelerated flight training program.

ATP Flight School’s Airline Career Pilot Program gives students the competitive edge with included airline-required ATP CTP.

Airline Career Pilot Program students complete the ATP CTP towards the end of their six or nine-month program. Four days of 14 CFR part 142 ground school is delivered virtually by experienced instructors covering air carrier operations, aerodynamics, high altitude operations, weather phenomena, weather detection systems, leadership, professional development, crew resource management, and safety culture. Students then travel to ATP JETS for three days of hands-on airline training. Pilots gain exposure to advanced automation and flight management systems in a fixed-base training device, then progress to full flight simulators. Six hours is spent in a full-motion Boeing or Airbus simulator learning low energy states and stalls, upset recovery techniques, and adverse weather conditions. The realistic and immersive experience of these advanced simulators provides students with a real-world understanding of abnormal and emergency situations, along with the complexities of air carrier operations.

Airline Career Pilot Program students train in full-motion simulators at ATP JETS in Dallas, TX.

Completing the ATP CTP early in a pilot’s training has its advantages. The highly focused course helps pilots develop professionally and equips them with a deeper knowledge base, improving their effectiveness and foundation as flight instructors. The ATP CTP also opens the door to low-time corporate pilot jobs, where the course is a competitive qualification. ATP Flight School graduates are benefiting today and being placed in pilot jobs, as recruiters recognize the value of having this training completed. Since adding the ATP CTP to the Airline Career Pilot Program, ATP Flight School has formed 14 partnerships, including with Frontier Airlines, which leverages an enhanced ATP CTP.

As airlines make the ATP CTP a requirement, ATP Flight School graduates are gaining the competitive edge. They are setting the foundation for success and realizing the benefits, entering today’s job market qualified and ready for retirement-driven airline hiring.

Note: 14 CFR part 142 programs provided by ATP Jet Simulation, Inc.

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