The Story Behind the Mission
Recognizing the current pilot shortage and the need for more qualified pilots along with the high cost of training them has lead to the formation of the non-profit “Air Transport Flight Academy” which has been approved by the IRS aa a 501C3 public charity.
The charity’s mission is to provide training for licensed pilots leading to an ATP certificate by providing full or partial scholarships to qualified candidates unable to cover the cost.
The Reason Behind the Problem
The Faa recently changed the minimum flight hours needed to earn an Air Transport Pilot (ATP) license from 250 hours to 1,500 hours known as the 1500 rule. This together with far fewer pilots trained by the military, the Covid era when many airlines offered early retirement for their pilots and the additional training necessary upon their return add up to the massive pilot shortage.
ATFA intends to solicit donations and grants from both the public and private sector as well as the aviation community. It will also seek donations of various types of equipment including aircraft, simulators and other equipment.
ATFA’s plan is to offer qualified candidates (qualifications to be determined) who are unable to afford the high cost of flight training either full or partial scholarship while also helping its graduates find employment in the airline industry.
Once funded ATFA will begin training qualified candidates at existing flight schools (possibly in conjunction with an aviation college) with the idea of purchasing its own Faa 141 approved flight school or schools once funds become available.
ATFA intends to reach out to Faa 121, 135 carriers along with the international community seeking contracts to supply qualified ATP graduates.