To Combat Pilot Shortage, Embry-Riddle Forms International Partnership

The premier aeronautical university in the state of Arizona has formed a new partnership that will allow the airline industry to stave off a projected pilot shortage.

In order to create a career pathway program for pilots, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University teamed up with Korean Airlines.

“The agreements have been signed, so hopefully they’ll be starting here a little bit more in earnest with the fall term,” said Tim Holt, dean of Embry-Riddle’s College of Aviation.

The program is expected to produce approximately 40 new pilots each year.

While the Prescott school, which also has a campus in Daytona Beach, Florida, has similar programs with domestic carriers, Korean Airlines marks the first international partner.

Between now and 2037, Boeing anticipates that airlines will need 790,000 new aviators. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to feel the impact the most, with the expectation being they will need 261,000 new pilots.

With the new partnership, Korean Air students at both campuses will gain more than just the skill of flying.

“They would stay with the university after they’re graduated, after they’ve completed all their ratings and qualified as instructor pilots,” Holt said. “Then they would also be, for a specified amount of time, staying with the university as instructors. That way they pay it forward, as well.”

The program will improve the school’s quality of instruction, as with high demand, graduates usually “get plucked into industry pretty quick” after they become certified.

“So by having that continual pipeline, it gives us that quality flight instructor to benefit our current students as they’re looking to move into the instructor ranks and then into industry after that,” he said.

According to U.S. News and World Report rankings, Embry-Riddle has the No. 1 undergraduate aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical program in the country.