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Thu, Jun 10, 2021

Flight School Launches New Financing Solution

Students May Be Eligible For Merit-Based Financing

Coast Flight Training has announced a new program designed to help close the aviation skills gap by making flight training more affordable. Through a partnership with Meritize, pilots-in-training will now be eligible for merit-based financing, which can in many cases reward individual borrowers for their past educational and military experiences.

"As air travel begins to accelerate and pilot demographics shift, our industry needs to use every tool in its arsenal to expand access to commercial aviation careers—and remove the financial barriers to flight education and training is a critical component of that mission," said Bryan W. Simmons, President of Coast Flight and a former Navy Flight School instructor, retired United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel. "With the launch of this innovative financing option, we're making the cost of flight training more affordable and expanding access to well-qualified veteran and civilian candidates alike."

The commercial aviation industry is currently responding to a growing pilot shortage across the United States, with more than 7,200 of the 15,000 American commercial airline pilots set to turn 65 over the next decade to retire early. Transportation industry analysts forecast that by 2025, after demand rebounds from the pandemic, there will be a global shortfall of at least 34,000 commercial pilots, or 10% of the total commercial aviation workforce.

Coast Flight is helping to meet demand for licensed pilots through its 12-month intensive program, Coast Academy, which combines on-ground instruction, supervised flight training and solo flight time to help students complete the in-seat flight training time required to become a commercial airline pilot. Nearly 500 high school and college graduates, including veterans and individuals changing careers, have completed the program to date.

Students typically finance their tuition through a range of grant, loan and scholarship options, including federal education and training benefits available through the Forever GI Bill. The introduction of the new financing option offered on the Meritize platform is designed to create a more inclusive and affordable pathway to careers in the commercial aviation industry, where the median annual wage of a regional pilot is more than $82,000.

Students enrolled in Coast Flight's regional training centers may benefit from its network of airline employer partners such as Envoy Air/American Airlines Group, many of which offer tuition reimbursement and conditional employment even before students complete their training.

FMI: https://iflycoast.com/

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