Inaugural JetBlue ‘Gateway Select’ pilot trainees one step closer to becoming commercial pilots – Quantum Aviation | Airline Passengers & Cargo Sales and Charters

Inaugural JetBlue ‘Gateway Select’ pilot trainees one step closer to becoming commercial pilots

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Inaugural JetBlue ‘Gateway Select’ pilot trainees one step closer to becoming commercial pilots

JetBlue Airways on April 23, 2018 announced the first graduation of candidates from the training portion of its innovative pilot recruiting pathway – Gateway Select, the airline’s competency-based training program for aspiring pilots. The first group of pilots has completed their primary classroom, technical and flight training and will now continue on a path to receiving their Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate by earning their FAA-mandated 1,500 hours of flying time as flight instructors. After instructing for two years, they will begin flying as first officers at JetBlue, as early as 2020.

“Following a rigorous selection process and extensive training, we’re proud to see the first cohort complete the training portion of our Gateway Select program,” said Warren Christie, senior vice president of safety, security and air operations, JetBlue. “This milestone with the first class further proves our competency-based pathway works and provides a new path of entry for those who never saw commercial aviation as a career option.”

JetBlue partners with CAE (NYSE:CAE) to deliver Gateway Select’s training curriculum. This milestone is the first from this innovative program which trains high-quality pilots based on aptitude. The program is being completed in cohort classes. There are currently four classes in various stages of the program ranging from private pilot training through positions as Flight Instructors.

Cohort one started in August 2016 and has completed the training curriculum portion of the program. This first class went through airline and skills-based training at JetBlue’s state-of-the art training campus – JetBlue University in Orlando, and gained flying experience at CAE Phoenix, CAE’s aviation academy in Mesa, AZ. As flight instructors, the candidates will pass the baton providing flight instruction to Cohort three, currently in the finishing stages of their classroom learning.

“Gateway Select was designed to help make pilot careers more accessible to a broader range of candidates,” Christie said. “We remain committed to recruiting a diverse talent pipeline with our seven Gateway Programs by continuing to partner with colleges, technical schools and other organizations that also seek to make the commercial pilot ranks more accessible.”

“CAE is proud to be the training partner of choice of this historic cadet creation program,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE’s Group president, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. “It is part of our mission to grow and train tomorrow’s pilots to the highest standards. Congratulations to the first cohort of JetBlue’s Gateway Select future pilots.”

As JetBlue commemorates this milestone, the airline is currently accepting applications for the next round of candidates slated to start training as early as fall of 2018. Applications and more information on the Gateway Select program will be available at

Gateway Select Pilot Training Program – The Gateway Select program provides participants with the opportunity to become JetBlue pilots after completing a rigorous multi-year training program which encompasses classroom learning, extensive real-world flying experience and instruction in full-flight simulators. Gateway Select candidates go through a series of assessments based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) pilot competencies and JetBlue’s own selection criteria.

JetBlue partners with CAE, leveraging CAE’s experience in delivering competency-based training programs to airlines throughout the world, to deliver Gateway Select’s training curriculum. 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 Pilot trainees came from a diverse set of backgrounds and professional experiences, including a heavy machine operator, a supermarket sales clerk and an accountant.

How It Works

Pilot trainees complete a series of training phases with guidance and mentorship from JetBlue to build the skills and experience required of a pilot for a major airline. The curriculum is also aligned with JetBlue’s unique customer-focused culture.

  • Trainees attend JetBlue University in Orlando for two weeks to learn the fundamentals of aviation and become acquainted with the company.
  • Trainees continue to CAE Phoenix, CAE’s aviation academy in Mesa, AZ for 30 weeks to develop core flying skills. Upon completion, candidates receive their private pilot’s license.
  • Trainees then return to JetBlue University for training on highly complex transport category aircraft, concluding with a JetBlue Line Operational Evaluation (LOE) and the completion of the Airline Transport Pilot – Certification Training Program (ATP-CTP). Training includes the safe and efficient operation of the Embraer 190 or the Airbus 320
  • Next, trainees return to CAE Phoenix for 12 weeks of additional FAA licensing requirements to receive their Commercial single & multi-engine instrument ratings. Trainees will then attend an instructor course to achieve their CFI (certified flight instructor) and CFII (Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument) qualifications and ratings. Upon completion, trainees then begin working as entry-level salaried instructors for CAE’s aviation academy while accumulating flight hours to achieve the FAA’s 1,500 flight-hour requirement.
  • Upon meeting the FAA and Gateway Select requirements, pilots become new hires at JetBlue, where they complete the same orientation and six-week instruction that all first officers complete.

JetBlue hires hundreds of new pilots every year, recruiting through its seven JetBlue Pilot Gateway programs®. These pilot pathways include University Gateway, Transition Gateway, and qualified first officer recruiting. Information about all of JetBlue’s pilot recruitment pathways, including Gateway Select, can be found at