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ATP goes big in Texas

Gorgeous facility provides nearly 26,000 square feet of learning opportunities

More than 30 years ago, a couple of airline pilots stumbled on a dream: Why not help aspiring flight students become airline pilots? In 1984, ATP Flight School, now the nation’s largest flight school, was established in Atlanta. Today its headquarters are in Jacksonville, Florida, and its largest facility in Arlington, Texas, has expanded to 25,875 square feet of state-of-the-art, high-tech opportunities for learning to fly. The school boasts a “total immersion” training experience that takes flight students from zero hours to CFI in seven months.

ATP Flight School has made the newly expanded facility in Arlington, Texas, the flagship of a national operation that includes 70 locations. Photo by Chris Rose.

“Each aspect of the new building is designed to efficiently deliver total-immersion airline pilot training,” said Michael Arnold, ATP director of marketing. “Students in ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program start with zero experience and graduate as commercial multiengine pilots and flight instructors in just seven months. Pilots graduating on this accelerated timeline are in a competitive position to capitalize on a post-pandemic pilot shortage and quickly establish their careers.”

Although ATP now has 70 locations throughout the country, its largest presence is in Texas. The Arlington facility, now its flagship campus, welcomes 100 new students each year—and offers a direct path to the airlines. More ATP alumni are hired by American Airlines than any other major airline; about 650 graduates have been hired by American Eagle carrier Envoy Air. For the Arlington facility grand opening in October, an Envoy Embraer ERJ 175 flew in to greet more than 200 students, visitors, and attendees.

“My favorite part of my job is seeing the students become instructors and then seeing them at alumni events where they are captains at American, Delta,” said Marty Cates, ATP regional director. “Just seeing them live their dream.”

Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.
Topics: Aviation Education Programs, Career

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