U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced that 32 military veterans completed flight training through the Forces to Flyers initiative, earning commercial multi-engine pilot’s licenses. The Secretary announced the research initiative in 2017 to determine how to assist veterans transitioning to new careers as pilots. “The Forces to Flyers flight training demonstration has helped America’s veterans transition from military service to find good jobs in the transportation sector,” said Secretary Chao.
The Forces to Flyers participants had the opportunity to receive flight training at four flight schools around the country, starting with the first flight lesson. In addition to supporting 32 veterans in earning the commercial multi-engine pilot’s license, the training demonstration supported 25 of those veterans to become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) for instrument operations. As CFIs, they will have the ability to gain employment as a flight instructor while obtaining the flight hours needed to qualify for an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) and become an airline pilot.
Led by the U.S. Department of Transportation and its Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, the research initiative has examined strategies for assisting our military veterans to pursue careers as pilots. During the three-year initiative, researchers have studied pathways for entering the pilot workforce, identified barriers to training and employment, and designed and implemented an initiative that can provide flight training to individuals interested in becoming airline pilots. The Department will develop a comprehensive research report on its findings at the conclusion of the research project in December 2020.