(TULSA, Okla.) – Officials at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology announced today the expansion of its aircraft fleet with the purchase of 32 new Piper Aircrafts to meet the future demand for certified pilots in the United States. State and local officials joined Spartan College and Piper Aircraft leaders for the historic delivery of the 5000th Piper Archer Aircraft at Spartan College’s flight facility at Jones Riverside Airport in Tulsa, Okla.
Founded 92 years ago, Spartan College is one of the Nation’s first technical training schools for pilots and aviation maintenance. Spartan College is located in the following areas: Tulsa, OK; Los Angeles; Inland Empire, CA.; and Denver, CO. Spartan students have come from across the United States and more than 40 countries.
“Since 1928, Spartan has trained and changed the lives of more than 100,000 pilots and mechanics serving in civil and military careers. With the purchase of these aircraft, we are re-committing ourselves to our current and future students, and the aviation industry as a whole,” said Spartan College CEO Rob Polston. “Our strategic plan is to make Tulsa, Los Angeles and Inland Empire, and Denver the most sought-after destinations for flight and mechanic training as well as the single-largest and most-recognized flight school in the United States.”
Based in Vero Beach, Florida, Piper Aircraft was founded 83 years ago and manufactures the Archer Aircraft, the standard plane used for new pilots and flight schools. The Piper Archer first debuted in 1975.
“Piper has surpassed a significant aviation milestone today with the delivery of the 5000th Piper Archer aircraft to Spartan College,” said Simon Caldecott, president, and chief executive officer for Piper. “Spartan College and Piper are synonymous in the pilot and aviation industry. We are proud that our two organizations could come together at such a pivotal time in history and consider Archer plane along with all the others we have provided will enhance the training experience of their students.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. was already facing a shortage of pilots due to national and global demand. According the 2020 Boeing Market Outlook (BMO) released in October, the company predicts that near and long-term market adjustments will still require replacement of “tens of thousands of pilots and trained technicians due to retirement age. Over the next decade, educational outreach and career pathway programs will be essential to inspiring and recruiting the next generation.”
“As the world economies bounce back from the temporary set-back of COVID-19, which they inevitably will, air travel will resume, just as it has after every major external shock from the energy crisis, to the financial crisis and SARS,” said Polston. “Despite what the technology giants hope, there is no substitution for the business and personal connections that come with flying from one destination to another.”
Spartan College’s fleet growth and its ongoing capital investment is key to providing the aerospace and aviation industry with the pipeline of skilled, certified employees needed to maintain the industries employment base.
“Oklahoma’s aviation and aerospace industries have an annual economic impact of $11.7 billion,” said Mike Neal, president, and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “Spartan College has been a critical partner in the state’s aviation and aerospace growth for more than nine decades, and its world-class education and training support the 200,000 aviation and aerospace jobs in our state. Today’s announcement furthers Spartan’s ability to develop highly-skilled talent in the region, ensuring Tulsa and Oklahoma remain at the forefront of aviation and aerospace excellence.”
Spartan College is proactively addressing the upcoming pilot shortage by offering students options to train for pilot certification. Training to become a pilot at Spartan College will give you skills and experience necessary to earn multiple Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) part 141 pilot certifications, in just 17 months. Due to the pandemic, Spartan College is working on reinventing its training programs into a hybrid model with online options for several of its programs, including aviation maintenance technicians.
“With the addition of the Piper Archers, Spartan students will be trained with industry-leading technology such as electronic flight bags and the latest Garmin G1000 avionics system,” said Beau Schrader, Spartan College’s vice president of flight operations. “By teaching Spartan students on features like the flight management system, weather, traffic, terrain, and autopilot, the students will receive professional environment experiences in a training environment to better prepare and equip them with the experiences to succeed in the aviation industry.”
If you are interested in learning more about Spartan’s Aviation Flight program visit spartan.edu/fly or fill out the form below.