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Earlier FO seat for pilots via new training solution

The Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) and Colorado Northwestern Community College (CNCC) have formed a partnership in order to offer aspiring pilots an efficient training solution, helping them to take up a co-pilot position with airlines earlier than the FAA’s 1,500 hour requirement.

Students who make use of the joint venture will also have access to a “restricted privileges ATP certificate”. This means that after 1,250 hours, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will allow students to serve the remainder of their 1,500 flight hour requirement as a co-pilot.

This is a development which is sure to be welcomed by US regional airlines. “Commercial airlines, especially regional carriers, are facing growing challenges with identifying qualified candidates to fill needed pilot positions,” explained Jeffrey Forrest, professor and chair of the MSU Denver Aviation and Aerospace Science Department. “This agreement enables us to offer students additional options for flight training and academics, while addressing the latest update to FAA pilot-qualification standards.”

The new MSU Denver/CNCC agreement, while strengthening relationships within Colorado’s expanding aviation community, allows students to enrol on courses at either institution, giving them access to both MSU Denver’s Robert K. Mock Indoor Airport (an aerospace computer and flight simulator training laboratory) and CNCC’s Rangely Airport facility.

Pilots in training may also benefit financially from the agreement: CNCC has agreed to reduce fees for its courses by 10-15% and offer discounted rate housing near the airport (the CNCC campus is approximately two miles away from Rangely Airport). This means pilots will be able to complete their training more rapidly.

Current students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in aviation can already take advantage of the programme, with enrolment for new students opening in September 2014.

David Smith, vice-president of instruction and student affairs at CNCC concluded, “By combining MSU Denver’s stellar aeronautics programme with CNCC’s pilot training, the partnership creates a world-class opportunity for students that will be unsurpassed in the classroom and in the cockpit.”

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