United Airlines launched a new program to help “demystify” the process of requesting dismissal from military pilotsthus facilitating their hiring within the American airline.
United’s military pilot program allows aviators to meet the requirements in terms of civil pilots while finishing their military career. It therefore offers “a simpler path for military pilots who choose to separate” of the Army, Michael Cooper, United’s senior manager of pilot strategy, told Military Times.
There are approximately 16,000 United pilots, of which more than 3,000 have served or are currently serving in a reserve component. United has hired more than 4,000 pilots in the past 24 months and plans to add 10,000 more this decade. The American major also plans to receive around 700 new planes by 2032. “We truly value the experience and quality of character represented by our veteran population”, justified Michael Cooper who does not speak on the subject of a shortage of pilots. Several parts of the program “will demystify” and will streamline the transition, Cooper said. “We will interview them (and) make them a conditional offer of employment before they have met all of our hiring requirements.” One of the keys is for United to be able to talk to active duty pilots “just as they are starting to consider leaving the military and thinking about joining a civilian airline.”
Another key measure to attract them is that military pilots will not need to have a airline pilot certificate before applying to United. This certificate, the highest certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), requires certain tests and a minimum flight hours. Military pilots do not need to have the ATP certificate, unlike civilian airline pilots. The program “Pilot Buddies” of United will pair active-duty members with a United pilot currently in the air, who will help them navigate the complexities of dealing with the FAA and obtaining certification ATP before joining United.
Additionally, soon after starting United’s training program, they will find out which United base they will be assigned to, which could allow them to plan their final shift as a permanent military member to that location – a significant savings for families of soldiers.