Three HBCUs Partner With United Airlines to Increase the Pipeline of Black Commercial Pilots

Three historically Black universities – Hampton University in Virginia, Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, and Delaware State University – are partnering with United Airlines to create a pathway for their students to train at the United Aviate Academy. The goal of the program is to increase the pipeline of Black pilots in order to diversity the flight crews for the airline. Flight education students at the three HBCUs will have the opportunity to interview with admission officials of United Airlines’ Aviate Academy. If selected, they will be among the thousands of pilots United will train over the next decade. These Aviate Academy students will also be guaranteed a job with United, upon successfully completing all the requirements of the program.

United CEO Scott Kirby summarised the approach with the following. “Over the next decade, United will train 5,000 pilots who will be guaranteed a job with United, after they complete the requirements of the Aviate program – and our plan is for half of them to be women and people of color. We’re excited that JPMorgan Chase has agreed to support our work to diversify our pilot ranks and create new opportunities for thousands of women and people of color who want to pursue a career in aviation.”

“This exclusive partnership with United Airlines brings the most direct route to a job offer for aviation students with United,” said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the School of Science, Aviation, Health and Technology at Elizabeth City State University. “United Airlines staff will provide support and coaching to help our students on their journey to become a United Airlines pilot, which includes access to senior leadership, site visits and tours, and certain travel privileges.”

Hampton University is proud to partner with United Airlines for this collaborative effort designed to cultivate the next generation of commercial pilots as well as create new professional pathways for women and people of color to pursue careers in aviation,” said Dr. William R. Harvey, President of Hampton University. The United Airlines Aviate Academy shares Hampton’s department of aviation’s mission to prepare our students for meaningful aviation careers, and instill in them a strong sense of social awareness and responsibility.”


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