FAA designation means savings for BBCC student pilots

For Immediate Release
September 16, 2014
Contact: Doug Sly, 509-793-2003

Big Bend Community College’s commercial pilot program has been authorized to award a Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) certificate to its graduates. The Federal Aviation Administration gave its final approval in August.

The R-ATP allows BBCC commercial pilot graduates to become airline pilots with 1,250 hours total flight experience instead of 1,500 hours required under other ATP certificates.

“The reduction (25 percent) in total flight time required to become airline pilots represents a significant savings to BBCC students,” said BBCC Chief Pilot Joe MacDougall. “It gives our students an advantage as they build flight time to get a job with the airlines.” The R-ATP also reduces the age required for certification from 23 to 21.

There are fewer than 50 flight schools nationwide with the designation, with BBCC and Central Washington University the only two in the Pacific Northwest.

 “The FAA has recognized that structured programs at colleges and universities provide better learning environments and the best aviation education, which results in more qualified pilots,” said MacDougall.

The FAA authorization allows BBCC aviation students who have graduated in the past five years to receive R-ATP certification. They can contact the BBCC Commercial Pilot Program to apply for it.

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