State of Florida and Silver Airways to Provide Career Pathway for Pilots

In a continuing effort to help resolve the national, professional pilot-supply shortage, the State of Florida, Embry-Riddle and Silver Airways are partnering to offer financial assistance and a direct pathway for students to jobs at the Florida-based air carrier. The partnership also supports Florida’s aviation economy and its future.

The Professional Pilot Apprenticeship/Internship (PPAI) Grant program focuses on increasing the level and number of potential pilots coming to the state to earn their undergraduate degree and professional pilot certifications. The grant, which could be offered to as many as 60 students, will require completion of an undergraduate degree at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus.

A Silver Airways pilot, right, shows off his aircraft to a student during an October 2016 Open House event that celebrated the airline’s partnership with the university.

After satisfying academic and training qualifications, these students would serve as flight instructors at the university for a minimum of three semesters. The grant then provides opportunities for these students to be offered jobs as professional pilots Silver Airways, which operates more routes within Florida and between Florida and the Bahamas than any other airline.

“An initiative such as this reflects the unfailing commitment by the State of Florida, the aviation industry and higher education to instill valuable, affordable and quality skills, knowledge, experience and opportunity to its future,” says Embry-Riddle Interim President Karen A. Holbrook.

The program is supported by a $2 million university grant by Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s Florida First budget. All designated funds will be used to cover costs to the students, including the certifications – Certified Flight Instructor, Certified Flight Instructor Instrument, Multi Engine Instructor, Airline Transport Pilot/Certification Training Program – as well as hourly rates for the rental of aircraft, fuel, flight training devices, full flight simulators, all instructional materials and tests.