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Friday, September 27, 2013

FAA approves reduced flight hours for aviation graduates

Liberty University School of Aeronautics has received authority from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify graduates for the reduced flight hour Airline Transport Pilot rating.

Under the new agreement, qualified graduates now need 1,000 flight hours instead of the more restrictive 1,500 flight hours to be hired as a first officer with a commercial airline. Liberty is the seventh university in the country to receive this authorization.

Dave Young, dean of the School of Aeronautics, said receiving this designation is significant for the school in that it allows graduates who are pursuing an airline pilot career to realize their dream much sooner. “This new agreement helps our graduates get a job with the regional airlines more quickly than they could have in the past and more rapidly than other potential candidates,” he said. “It is also recognition from the FAA that we have an excellent and solid program, or we would not have gotten the waiver of hours.” Walt Reichard, professor in the School of Aeronautics, said that within the next 15 years, there will be a need for 60,000 commercial airline pilots within the U.S. alone.

“With that kind of demand the airlines are anxious to get all the qualified graduates they can,” he said. “Reducing this program to the 1,000-hour requirement means the students will spend less time in training and school and will be eligible to fly for the airlines two years sooner.”

In May, Liberty signed an
agreement with American Eagle Airlines, Inc. (AEA) that gives graduates more opportunities to launch their careers in the commercial airline industry. The company will hire graduates — those who meet requirements ranging from grade-point average in aviation courses to accumulated flight time — for its Pilot Pipeline Program. AEA will pay graduates to serve as certified flight instructors for the School of Aeronautics while accruing their flight time. Participants will also receive boarding pass privileges and health benefits from AEA, as well as a $10,000 scholarship upon completion of the program.

Liberty signed a similar agreement with ExpressJet last year and is working on comparable opportunities with other airlines. American Eagle and ExpressJet are the two largest regional airline systems in the world, with nearly 4,000 daily flights to more than 200 airports throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DOAV Director Randall Burdette to receive 2013 Kenneth A. Rowe Ambassador of Aviation Award

Virginia Department of Aviation Director, Randall Burdette, has been selected by the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) to receive the Kenneth A. Rowe Ambassador of Aviation Award. Named after a previous Virginia Director, the award honors a state aviation director who embodies spirit, optimism, and fierce pride in the capabilities of the state aviation agencies. It will be presented at the upcoming NASAO Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This is a special award; it has only been presented eight times since its creation 19 years ago. Mr. Burdette will be the first Virginia director to receive it since it was presented to and named after Kenneth A. Rowe in 1994.

Mr. Burdette was appointed as Director of the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) in 2004 by Governor Mark Warner and then reappointed in 2006 and 2010 by the honorable Governors Tim Kaine and Bob McDonnell respectively. Leading an organization that reports directly to the Secretary of Transportation and the highest executive in state government (the Governor), Mr. Burdette took the reins of the agency and initiated programs that set the stage for state aviation agencies around the nation to emulate for years to come. The creation of organizations addressing security, safety and economic development were part of his vision to increase communications throughout the industry locally, regionally and nationally.

As the state aviation agency director, he led the DOAV to become the first IS-BAO (International Standards for Business Aviation Operations)-registered and ISO 9001:2008-certified state aviation agency in the country. Under his leadership and desire to better serve communities, he encouraged more business-use of airports by adding the infrastructure needed at airports during poor weather.  Virginia is the first state to have instrument approaches into all of its public-use airports and is on track to become the first state with weather reporting at 100% of the public owned/public use airports in November of this year.  These two improvements will give businesses better access to Virginia communities through its airports. 

Mr. Burdette also commissioned numerous reports and studies including: Virginia’s Flight to 2025: An Aviation Vision for the Commonwealth; Virginia Aviation and Space Workforce Analysis and Strategy Development; Competitive Analysis of Virginia’s Aviation Industry; Virginia Airport System Economic Impact Study; Virginia’s Aerospace Industry-An Economic Analysis; and the Competitive Analysis of Virginia’s Aerospace Industry.  Through his efforts AOPA’s Airport Support Network (ASN) reached 100% participation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Organizations developed under the leadership of Mr. Burdette include: Virginia Aviation Security Advisory Council (VASAC), Virginia Helicopter Association (VHA), Virginia Airstrip Owners Association (VAOA), Virginia Volunteer Pilots Group (VVPG), the Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association (VSPA) and the Virginia Warbird Association (VWA).

Mr. Burdette served as the chairman for NASAO’s Executive Committee, acting as the point of contact for the Memorandum of Understanding for NextGen Technologies, and is active in the aviation community, serving on the boards of numerous aviation organizations.

New Virginia Aviation Board Members

In case you didn't have the chance to meet the newest Virginia Aviation Board (VAB) members at this year's Virginia Aviation Conference here's an introduction:

William E. Coburn will be representing Region 1,
which includes these airports:
Blue Ridge Regional
Grundy Municipal
Lee County
Lonesome Pine
Mountain Empire
New River Valley
Tazewell County
Twin County
Virginia Highlands
Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive

Bill Coburn is a career Air Force Intelligence Officer and lifelong Civilian Pilot.  Colonel Coburn retired from the Air Force after 30 years service in 2007 and is presently a lead Systems Analyst with Northrop Grumman in Newport News.  A native of Hampton Roads, Bill and his wife Elizabeth currently reside in Isle of Wight County, VA.  

Charles M. Quillin will be representing Region 6,
which includes these airports:
Chase City Municipal
Emporia-Greenville Regional
Franklin Municipal
Lake Country Regional
Lawrenceville-Brunswick Municipal
Lunenburg County
Mecklenburg-Brunswick Municipal
Wakefield Municipal

Dr. Charles M. Quillin is the director of operations for Headquarters, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (HQ ESGR) under the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (ASD/RA) in Alexandria, VA. A native of Scott County, Virginia, Dr. Quillin retired from the United States Air Force in 1995 as a colonel with 25 years of service and was the Dean of Institutional Advancement and Senior Development officer at Emory & Henry College. He and his wife Heda, live in Abingdon, Virginia.

For more information on the VAB visit our website.