WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. — The Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology (SATT) announced an agreement today between the University, Frontier Airlines and Airbus to add Airbus A320 (A320) passenger jet training to the school’s professional flight curriculum. As a result of this partnership, Purdue becomes the only university to offer A320 Type rating in its bachelor degree program, further enhancing the quality and status of pilot training offered at Purdue University to students entering the airline industry.
“The Airbus A320 is one of the most frequently used jet aircraft in the airline industry,” said Manoj Patankar, Raisbeck Engineering Professor of Aviation Technology and head of SATT. “Connecting our flight students to A320 type training further sets Purdue apart from other flight schools.”
“We envision a future where students graduate from Purdue with the requisite experience and decision-making skills, ‘airline ready’ to directly enter Airbus flight decks,” said Brad Lambert, vice president of flight operations at Frontier.
Damon Cram of Airbus added, “We wish to support Frontier Airlines by creating a training program for Purdue University students that will utilize the latest Airbus tools, methodology, industry knowledge, and technology.”
Michael Suckow, associate professor of practice in Purdue’s professional flight program, summarized the key purpose of this collaboration: “to disrupt the traditional collegiate flight education model by creating a shorter, higher-quality path toward airline cockpits.”
The Purdue-Frontier-Airbus team has conducted a small-group trial and successfully demonstrated that A320 Type rating can be integrated in the traditional collegiate program. Two Purdue students who completed such training are already on their way to Frontier cockpits.
In addition to the inclusion of an A320 Type rating, Frontier Airlines will provide resources to re-evaluate quality and quantity of the current total flight time requirements under the Airline Transport Pilot certification rules.
“This collaboration sets the stage for another giant leap in collegiate flight education. Purdue students will be even better prepared for airline jobs,” said Patankar. “Airlines and manufacturers will be invested early in student success, and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) will have robust data regarding quality of pilot proficiency beyond the traditional notion of flight hours.”
“Purdue’s degree combines the depth of university study with the practical skills required to be employment-ready,” said Suckow. “The Purdue-Frontier-Airbus agreement is another example of how we continuously work with industry to provide cutting-edge solutions.”
About Purdue Polytechnic Institute
Purdue Polytechnic Institute is one of 10 academic colleges at Purdue University, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in a range of disciplines: aviation, computing, construction management, engineering technology, technology leadership and technology education. In addition to Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue Polytechnic offers select degree programs in nine Indiana communities.
About Purdue Polytechnic’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology
Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology, one of six departments and schools in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, administers seven world-class undergraduate majors and a graduate program, including an aviation-focused Ph.D. program in Technology. It is one of the most recognized programs for the quality of its graduates. Faculty members work closely with undergraduate and graduate students and all segments of the aviation industry to conduct research related to grand challenges in sustainability, safety and quality.
Caption: Brian Dillman, associate professor of aviation technology, Purdue University; Zach Parks (BS '18, professional flight), first officer, Frontier Airlines; Brad Lambert, vice president of flight operations, Frontier Airlines; Michael Suckow, associate professor of practice, Purdue University
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