February 5, 2020 at 8:43 AM EST - Updated February 5 at 8:43 AM
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Two Savannah institutions are partnering together to help fight the pilot shortage. Savannah Aviation and Savannah Technical College are rolling out a new program to help those interested in obtaining a private pilot license.
Aviation company Boeing says the industry could need around 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years.
Before students can get in a plane’s cockpit, the Federal Aviation Administration requires them to pass a knowledge test to prove they understand the science, theory, history, and regulations linked to flying.
Right now, Savannah Aviation and several other area groups offer a one-on-one Pilot Ground School to help students prepare for their knowledge exams. But soon, Savannah Aviation and Savannah Technical College will offer the training in a group setting.
Savannah Aviation says the mandatory retirement age for a pilot is in their 60s, and they expect a number of pilots to retire within the next few years. Savannah Aviation and Savannah Technical College’s Aviation Training Center want to make sure more pilots are ready to meet the demand. By offering a six week Private Pilot Ground School, they hope to train more students who want to obtain their licenses.
"Savannah Technical College’s Aviation Technology Campus was essentially created to create a workforce that could sustain the shortage of technically minded folks that could support Gulfstream and other aviation industries here in Savannah. All we’re doing is adding the Private Pilot Ground School, so that we could expand the pilot pool to make them available as well. "
Once students complete their exams, they can move on to flying lessons followed by a required oral exam and a practical check ride.
The course is open to anyone over the age of 16 years old. Registration ends on Tuesday, February 18.
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