The Louisiana Board of Regents have recently approved a new professional pilot bachelor of science degree program at the University of New Orleans (UNO). Upon approval by its accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, UNO will begin to accept applications for the program.
The professional pilot program will reside within the university’s College of Business Administration. The program will expand the institution’s vision as “an engine of economic development of the region,” John Williams, dean of the College of Business Administration said in a recent statement.
“Our professional pilot program will provide a diverse air space system environment that will expose our students to a wide variety of real world challenges, resulting in highly sought-after graduates,” Williams added.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for commercial pilots in 2016 was over $86,000. However, there’s a predicted shortage of pilots as a result of both the expected global growth in aviation and a decline in the number of civilian and military trainees, Williams said.
The new professional pilot program will be accredited by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to NOLA.com.
The program, which will consist of a total completed 120 credit-hours, will give students the opportunity to engage in both technology-enhanced classrooms and actual flight training.
UNO students who complete the new professional pilot program will meet Federal Aviation Administration commercial and private pilot standards as a result, UNO officials said.
The university plans to govern the program in partnership with the New Orleans Aerial Tours & Flight Training school located at the Lakefront Airport, which is a five-minute drive from the university’s campus. UNO plans to certify the program faculty while the flight school will offer the technical instruction.