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United Airlines plans $100 million expansion of pilot training center


A United Airlines passenger aircraft prepares to depart its gate and taxi to the runway at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California.

Robert Alexander | Getty Images

United Airlines plans to interrupt ground Wednesday on an expansion of its training center in Denver, an initiative aimed toward getting 1000’s of pilots able to fly passengers because the carrier goes on a hiring spree.

The project will cost about $100 million. The brand new four-story constructing at its training campus will allow United so as to add six recent flight simulators. The airline plans so as to add a further six simulators in a while. It currently has space for 40 simulators.

The brand new simulators might be to coach pilots on the Boeing 737 Max and Airbus jetliners, after a large order last 12 months, in addition to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Marc Champion, managing director of the flight training center, told CNBC.

The carrier expects the project to be accomplished before the top of next 12 months. Champion said the training center expansion project has been within the works for a couple of 12 months.

Like other carriers, United is facing intense competition for pilots because the industry recovers from the Covid pandemic. The airline is planning to rent about 10,000 pilots between now and the top of the last decade, Champion said. The Chicago-based carrier expects so as to add about 2,000 pilots this 12 months.

Last 12 months, United began teaching the primary students at its recent flight school, the United Aviate Academy, in Goodyear, Arizona. It goals to coach 5,000 pilots there by 2030.

Fleet changes and idled pilots throughout the pandemic created massive training backlogs across airlines as many aviators switched to recent aircraft or waited for slots to finish federally mandated recurrent training.

American Airlines, for instance, last 12 months decided to maintain a pilot training center in Charlotte, North Carolina, open to handle the amount. United, nevertheless, maintained much of its fleet, and reached an agreement with its pilots’ union early within the pandemic that helped it keep a lot of its pilots trained.

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