July 22, 2014
By Ian J. Twombly
Pilots who are looking to fly for the airlines but didn’t attend an aviation college have their first potential option in the post-airline-transport-pilot-rule era. ATP Flight School recently announced that it purchased a majority share of Higher Power Aviation, a longtime flight simulator training center based in Dallas. With the move, the school will be able to offer the FAA’s required ATP certification training program course sometime in the near future.
Although Embry-Riddle recently announced it had developed an FAA-approved ATP CTP course at its Daytona Beach, Florida, campus, the popular aviation college is only planning to offer it to existing students. That leaves pilots who didn’t attend an aviation college searching for an option after Aug. 1.
With its investment, ATP Flight School will be able to fulfill the requirements of the course, namely the simulator portion the company previously didn’t have the assets to support. A company representative said they expect FAA approval in about six months. Although offered initially only at HPA’s location in Dallas, the school expects to branch out to additional locations soon after, including Atlanta and Minneapolis.
The representative said the course is expected to cost $4,995 and take seven days. ATP also has numerous airline agreements, and many of the carriers have reached out to discuss sponsoring the cost of the course for their new hires. Nothing has been formalized at this point, however.
Higher Power’s primary business model has been training pilots for in the Boeing 737 for Southwest Airlines, which requires a type rating to be considered for employment. With the deal, the representative said Higher Power’s branding will remain intact, and the Part 142 training provider will continue to offer training in the Boeing 737, 757, 767, Airbus A320, and so on.
Starting Aug. 1, pilots wishing to take the ATP mulitengine airplane knowledge exam must first graduate from an FAA-approved ATP certification training program course. The FAA publishes more information on its website.
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
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