Purdue expands program to train professional pilots

A pilot walks past the windows at the newly renovated Delta Terminal D at LaGuardia Airport in New York on March 6, 2021. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — A popular professional flight program at Purdue University is being expanded through a partnership with a flight training center.

The U.S. commercial flight industry has faced pilot retirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Purdue effort is one of several announced recently to fill demand for new pilots on commercial, charter and cargo flights.

Purdue is joining with AeroGuard Flight Training Center, which has four locations: Phoenix and Chandler, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Fort Myers, Florida. The program of Purdue University Global, the college’s online education venture, will feature flight training through campuses in those states.

During flight training, students will be working toward earning certificates and ratings in instrument, commercial, multi-engine and certified flight instructor. Students will earn private pilot certificates, and complete their Bachelor of Science degree courses online through Purdue University Global.

Purdue University Global’s professional flight degree program was first announced in 2019 in a collaboration with Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology.