Sept 7, 2017: JetBlue, an American low-cost carrier began accepting applications for the second cycle of its new pilot recruiting pathway - Gateway Select. JetBlue partners with CAE, a global leader in modelling, simulation and training for civil aviation and defence headquartered in Canada to deliver Gateway Select's training curriculum. The opening of the second window comes as JetBlue's first set of six candidates complete the airline-focused training programme and continue to earn their FAA-mandated 1,500 hours of flight time.
The programme offers participants with the opportunity to become JetBlue pilots after completing a rigorous four-year training program which encompasses classroom learning, broad real-world flying experience and instruction in full-flight simulators. Gateway Select takes the best from training programs used by the U.S. military and international airlines and applies the safety standards and federal requirements for current pilots.
"The completion of this milestone proves our idea that there can be a successful competency-based pathway, with the right structure and training, to becoming an airline pilot," said Warren Christie, senior vice president of safety, security and air operations, JetBlue. "Gateway Select is the only direct path to entry into an airline in the U.S. As our second recruiting window starts, we are opening the door to making this incredible profession a reality for even more aspiring pilots."
"JetBlue's Gateway Select is one of the most innovative programs available to create the next generation of pilots," said Nick Leontidis, CAE's Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. "It makes the pilot career more accessible to men and women who would otherwise not be able to explore their passion for flying."
As part of cycle one, Gateway Select candidates went through a series of assessments based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) pilot competencies and JetBlue's own selection criteria.
The first cohort of six Gateway Select trainees has successfully completed the airline-focused training portion of the programme. The additional candidates are completing the programme in cohorts, with the next set scheduled to complete their pilot ratings prior to December 2017. Pilot trainees came from a diverse set of backgrounds and professional experiences, including a heavy machine operator, a supermarket sales clerk and an accountant.
"Each trainee comes from a unique background but they all share a natural aptitude for flying and the dream to become a pilot," Christie said. "Our pilot trainees performed extremely well throughout the program, including completing training exercises that our current pilots perform. The rigorous selection process, which measured applicants on the qualities that make a strong airline pilot, uncovered a group of trainees that will be great JetBlue pilots."
With Gateway Select, JetBlue is making the profession more accessible to a diverse range of candidates. JetBlue is working to recruit applicants from minority colleges and technical schools and partnering with other organisations that also seek to stimulate greater inclusion in the pilot ranks.
"OBAP is pleased to have been part of this successful recruiting initiative. JetBlue continues to be an industry leader on innovative recruiting solutions. Many are taking note as JetBlue leads," said Vanessa Blacknall-Jamison Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) chairwoman.