United Services Flight Training, part of United Airlines
has become the first training
provider outside of China to receive Civil Aviation Authority of China certification to train the nation’s airline pilots.United has already signed
one contract under this certification with a Chinese airline and is finalizing
a second to train their pilots on Boeing 757 and Airbus 320 aircraft at the
Denver Flight Training Center (Denver TK). Airline industry estimates
indicate a need for up to 10,000 new pilots in China through 2010—making it
one of the fastest-growing markets for the type of flight training United
“We are pleased the CAAC recognizes that United provides industry-leading
pilot training and has approved United to train China’s airline pilots,” said
Captain Brad Thomann, managing director-Flight Standards and Training.
He added, “Safety is the top priority for everyone at United, and having the opportunity
to share our best practices with pilots from other airlines is very important
to us. While training the employees of United remains our primary mission, we
are looking forward to having China’s pilots join those from the many airlines
and governments around the world that we already train in Denver.”
The certificates issued grant approval for United to provide “type rating”
training on the B757 and A320 fleet types. United can pursue additional fleet
type certificates from the CAAC as training demand warrants. Pilots who
undergo this training will hold FAA and CAAC Commercial Pilot’s Certificates.
After United trains the Chinese pilots on aircraft type, the CAAC will award
the pilots’ type certification—similar to the process followed by the U.S.
Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
“This is an important first step into what we believe will become one of
the world’s largest contract training markets, and enables us to continue to
promote United’s existing training assets to generate revenue for the
company,” said Patrick Heck, general manager-United Services Flight Training.
He added, “We are proud to continue to play a positive role in Denver’s economy by
bringing this business across the globe and into the city, giving Denver
international exposure to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.”
The Chinese airlines join the ranks of Air Force One and passenger and
cargo airlines from Europe, Asia and the Americas in sending their pilots for
training at United’s Denver facility.
Additionally, United will soon begin training with general aviation
manufacturer Eclipse Aviation for the pilots of its Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet
—the first-ever contract of its kind. The companies expect the first Eclipse
500 pilot to be trained in spring of 2006.
“We are maintaining one of the proudest traditions of safety in the
industry, while utilizing our assets to build revenue without significant
capital outlay,” Thomann said.