University, ExpressJet Sign Pilot Pathway Agreement

Author: Office of Marketing and Communications
Posted: Monday, October 19, 2015 5:32 PM
Categories: School of Aviation | Pressroom

Macon, GA

EASTMAN, Ga. -- Representatives from Middle Georgia State University and ExpressJet Airlines signed an agreement Monday that establishes clear career opportunities from the classroom to the cockpit for aspiring pilots.

Dr. Christopher Blake, University president, and Darrin Greubel, general manager of line operations for ExpressJet, met at the University’s Eastman Campus to sign the agreement.

Under terms of the pilot pathway pact, students who complete several requirements and earn required certificates will be guaranteed an interview for conditional employment by the airline if and when ExpressJet is hiring pilots. Students are not guaranteed a job, but ExpressJet has indicated in the past it is impressed with the quality of the University’s academic program and has hired many Middle Georgia State graduates.

ExpressJet, which has about 8,500 employees and serves more than 180 airports in nearly 40 states, has been hiring Middle Georgia State graduates for several years, but the agreement signed Monday formalizes what had been an informal protocol. Now, university graduates have a clear path with a respected airline that offers entry-level career opportunities as a commercial pilot.

The University graduates about 20 students every year with credentials that permit them to fly single and/or multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft. Students can seek training to acquire one of several pilot’s licenses, including those for private aircraft or commercial aircraft. ExpressJet hires University graduates and provides them with additional training to fly the airline’s larger aircraft.

Adam Holloway, chair of the University’s Department of Flight in the School of Aviation, said ExpressJet has “shown by its willingness to come back and come after our graduates that they are pleased with the training and quality of pilots we are producing.

“We’re excited to be formalizing this relationship, which now more than ever puts our students on a direct path toward becoming commercial airline pilots.”

Brad Sheehan, ExpressJet’s senior vice president of operations, said, “The quality of students graduating MGSU’s flight program is what drew us to signing a formal agreement with the university. Now more than ever is a great time to become an airline pilot and ExpressJet is dedicated to finding the best future pilots and providing them an easy pathway to our flight deck through our AP3 program.

"I’m excited for what this partnership will bring to both ExpressJet and MGSU, and I look forward to our shared success,” Sheehan said.

The University’s Piper airplane fleet includes Warriors, Archers, Arrows, and Seminoles. The fleet also operates a Citabria aircraft for spin and unusual attitude training. Several advanced simulators are used integrally in the curriculum to complement flight time and provide emphasis on the more challenging areas of flight training. The rotorcraft fleet is composed of Sikorsky Schweizer 300 CBi helicopters.

ExpressJet, headquartered in Atlanta, is the world’s largest regional airline, flying an average of 1,600 daily flights and an all-jet fleet of 317 aircraft. ExpressJet operates as American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express and also flies to international destinations, including the Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, Mexico and Turks and Caicos Islands. The airline flies Bombardier and Embraer jets which each carry from 35 to 76 passengers.

PHOTO: Participating in the signing were, from left, Adon Clark, interim dean of the School of Aviation; Christopher Blake, president of the university; Darrin Greubel, general manager of Line Operations for ExpressJet; and Courtney Davis, manager of pilot hiring and recruitment for ExpressJet.