Central Washington Universities Aviation Program is the first in Pacific Northwest to offer a new pilot certification.  The Federal Aviation Administration gave its final  approval this week to CWU.  There are only a select few schools across the country that have received this authorization.”

The R-ATP allows CWU graduates to become airline pilots with 1,000 hours total flight experience rather than 1,500 hours required under the R-ATP certificate required of other
candidates. The 33 percent reduction in total flight time will be a significant cost saving to CWU students. CWU Aviation Professor Jason Underhill says “that’s a really big plus for
all of our alums who have been trying to build up enough flight time to get a job with the airlines,”

After completing their CWU professional pilot degree, students will still typically need about 700-more flight hours before receiving R-ATP certification. They will then become in demand by regional air carriers.

“The baby boomer-generation of pilots are hitting age 65, the mandatory retirement age at the airline level,” Underhill says. “A lot of those retirements are at the major airlines. Those replacement pilots will, likely, come from the regional airline level. When those pilots move on to the major airlines there will be a huge shortage of pilots for those regional slots.”

The R-ATP was developed in accordance with revised FAA regulations that have been put into place over the last five years.