A few years ago I spent a significant amount of time developing a plan for a major academy program with two other people. We started with what we thought our graduates should be able to put on a resume right out of the Transport Pilot program. We made sure to provide a wide variety of actual flight experience covering single engine, multi-engine, piston, turbine, and jet in aircraft with standard instruments and glass panel systems. The program was constructed as an expanded version of a standard part 141 program and an eye toward working with a four year university to ensure an available degree program for our students.
The whole idea behind our program was to give students actual experience in turbine and jet aircraft and some level D simulator training in a transport aircraft allowing for a type rating while enrolled. It was our intention to get our students in position to interview for a regional airline job right out of the academy with all of the experience they would need for a right-seat position.
At the time, the cost to set up this academy program was in the neighborhood of 40 million dollars. A difficult nut to crack to say the least. Since then, the cost of developing a comparable program has dropped significantly to some where around ten million dollars, still not an easy number to reach. All of this was for a transport pilot program though, and thats not the direction I am looking at now. While I am still looking at the development of a professional aviation program, it is not for transport pilots in particular, and not just pilots. There are a number of non-pilot certificates that are very important to the aviation industry, and are difficult to find in the AvEd marketplace.
My desire is to build an academy that caters to aviation professionals across the board. Of course I want to train for and acquire many of these certificates myself, and teach classes for them, but the goal is to make them available to all who are interested.
For now, much to do, and many plans to make. ✈