Thursday, December 3, 2015

We're not sure how we feel about that.
JetBlue has asked for permission to launch its own
in-house pilot-training program.
Like most major airlines in the U.S., JetBlue
usually turns to experienced aviation-school graduates to fill its rosters,
but for this initiative the company would recruit a small group of complete
novices to train and, eventually, hire.
Although this might sound alarming at first look—flight newbies in the
cockpit???—the pilots trained through JetBlue's program would have to
complete 1,500 hours of flying experience before receiving their commercial
license, just like the pilots for all other American carriers.
(The number of
hours required was raised from 250 to 1,500 in 2013, a change criticized by
some members of the airline industry who believe it could contribute to a
growing pilot shortage.) JetBlue's proposed plan would be the only one of
its kind in the U.S., but is not unlike the internal instructional programs of
many foreign airlines, such as Lufthansa, which operates a pilot training
center in Arizona.
As Bloomberg News reports, JetBlue claims this initiative would enable the
airline to work with its pilots from the very beginning of their flight
education and train them in exactly the types of simulation scenarios deemed
most necessary (bad weather and mechanical failures, apparently, are a much
larger concern than harrowing runways like these), and ensuring that their
would-be aviators gain early experience working on large aircrafts.
If JetBlue's request is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, a
small class of recruits could start their training in 2016.
Anya Hoffman is a contributing digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
You can
follow her on Twitter at @anya_hoffman.
JetBlue has asked the Federal Aviation Administration for
permission to launch its own in-house pilot-training program.
Find out how
this would work.

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