Danville, VA - Averett University is excited to announce that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted its aeronautics program the ability to certify its graduates for the restricted flight hour Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) rating. This certification puts the University among an elite group of schools with an aeronautics program who offer the restricted ATP rating including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of North Dakota.
For decades, the FAA had less rigorous minimum requirements for airline first officers, but after a series of nationwide accidents spanning several years, the law was changed in August 2013. It now requires airline copilots to have 1,500 hours of flight time. Fortunately for Averett students, obtaining certification in the restricted ATP rating will allow them to fly for airlines with 1,000 hours of flight time.
"This qualification is the most significant thing to happen to this program since I have been a part of it," said Chief Flight Instructor Travis Williams '00. "It is important that graduates of the program have the best opportunity possible to pursue their career goals and this certification gives them that opportunity. They will now be able to pursue a career in the industry that much quicker."
The certification process took Williams several months. In addition to submitting an application form proving Averett had met the standard requirements – that the University was an accredited school and the program was FAA part 141 approved – he also had to submit descriptions for all of the aviation courses to prove that they will improve and enhance the knowledge and skills of a person seeking a career as a professional pilot. Each course had to fall into one of eight categories to receive certification.
Averett students will not have to meet additional requirements to receive the ATP certificate. They will still have to have 60 credit hours in the aviation program and acquire the commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
The program will be revalidated every 24 months and could receive periodic on-site evaluations from the FAA to make sure it is in compliance.