Long rumored, ERAU has
disclosed that it has sold its non-degree Commercial Airline Pilot
Training (CAPT) program to Flight Training Services International
(FTSI), a company whose president and CEO, Shawn Raker, is an
alumnus of the university.
Raker, who earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautical studies
from the university in 1990, has 16 years of experience as a pilot
and proficiency check airman for a major airline in Atlanta.
The CAPT program, located at Flagler County Airport in Bunnell,
Fla., enrolls students who already have degrees, but are looking
for a career change. Of the program's 71 graduates, 57 have been
hired as pilots by regional airlines, cargo carriers, and corporate
flight departments since it began in August 2003.
CAPT ceased enrolling
new cadets on Feb. 14 when Embry-Riddle shifted focus back to
its flagship flight program, aeronautical science. The four-year
aeronautical science degree program educates nearly 2,000 students
at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott,
"We will retain the CAPT name, training curriculum, and staff,"
Raker said. "FTSI has already begun recruiting efforts for new
students and flight training contracts." The program will continue
to operate at Flagler County Airport.
"CAPT was a tremendously effective experiment in proving that an
individual could go from zero flight time to the right seat of a
commercial jetliner with as little as 225 flight hours," said
Martin Schaaf, executive director of CAPT. "The transition to FTSI
will further expand our success in reaching out to airlines
worldwide to meet the impending shortage of pilots, which is
already starting to occur outside the United States."
As part of the deal, FTSI will donate $100,000 a year for five
years to Embry-Riddle for scholarships to aeronautical science
students, said Raker, who is chairman of Careers in Aviation, a
non-profit organization that
promotes aviation to America's youth.
"We are not only dedicated to training the next generation of
pilots, but drawing talented professionals into the wide range of
aviation careers," Raker said. "These scholarships will do just
that, and give more young people the opportunity to pursue their
dreams in aviation."
FTSI is a rapidly growing civilian and military flight-training
provider with operations in the United States and South