ExpressJet pilot recruiters took their show on the road to spread the word about the air carrier’s Airline Pilot Pathway Program, dubbed AP3, which ushers students from classrooms to pilot briefing rooms with almost certain employment.
Three ExpressJet pilots in their full uniforms greeted about 50 prospective pilots attending a job fair in conjunction with the Aviation Accreditation Board International’s aviation and education winter meeting Feb. 22 through 27.
The whine of airliners taking off and landing at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport punctuated attendees’ conversations as they participated in the jobs expo at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel just north of the busy airport’s taxiway alpha.
Larry Hattaway, an ExpressJet captain and pilot recruiter, said the airline was serious about paving the way to the cockpit for college aviation students as long as several important criteria were met.
“We have 55 colleges that we partner with to give them career aspirations and a defined career path to ExpressJet Airlines,” Hattaway said. “If you go to one of those colleges you are eligible to sign up with AP3 at any time of your training, but once you get your instrument rating you can actually do our AP3 testing, which is our interview.”
Fellow ExpressJet pilots Kimberly Ewing and Jason Schlup said the AP3 program provides applicants information they can use to study and prepare for their job interview, which they said is a big help for aspiring pilots beginning to make their way down an aviation career path.
Upon successful completion of the actual interview they are given a conditional job offer with ExpressJet Airlines, Hattaway said.
“The conditional job offer does require them to keep their grades up, keep their GPA at a good level, as well as also [meet] the restricted ATP criteria whether it’s the 1000-hour, 1250, or even the 1500-hour restriction,” said Hattaway. “At that time they’ve already completed the interview and they ultimately pick a class date that is convenient for their schedule and then they come and work with us.”
The airline’s pathway program partnership began in the fall of 2015, and since then 54 students nationwide were extended job offers, he said.