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United Airlines signs deal with Illinois college to develop more pilots

Twelve other U.S. colleges are also part of the Aviate training program, none of which are in Illinois or Missouri.
Credit: Southern Illinois University Carbondale Photo
Perry Lewis, left, director of United Aviate and pilot strategy, and SIU Carbondale Chancellor Austin Lane

CARBONDALE, Ill. — United Airlines has partnered with Southern Illinois University Carbondale in a deal to provide training for SIU students to more easily become pilots needed by the airline.

According to the school, SIUC's School of Aviation is joining the Chicago airline's (Nasdaq: UAL) Aviate pilot-training program. Twelve other U.S. colleges are also part of the Aviate training program, none of which are in Illinois or Missouri.

SIUC said its aviation students and certified flight instructors in the program will have the opportunity to gain experience and build their hours toward a pilot rating that allows pilots to serve as co-pilots until they obtain 1,500 flight hours.

United Airlines, like other airlines, is suffering from a lack of pilots.

The airline bought Goodyear, Arizona-based Westwind School of Aeronautics in 2020, changing its name to United Aviate Academy and becoming the only major United States-based airline to operate its own flight academy. 

Read more of the story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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