San Diego, CA – Coast Flight Training is expanding from its San Diego headquarters to establish a second location for its airline flight-training program in San Marcos, TX. The new training facilities in San Marcos will focus on training U. S. Military helicopter pilots who are transitioning to in-demand careers as civilian airline pilots for the nation’s top airlines.
The U.S. airline industry is facing a critical shortage of pilots, with more than 617,000-trained pilots needed by 2035 according to studies by Boeing. Pilots earn an average of $58,000 starting salary, plus benefits including travel, climbing to more than $100,000 annually after a few years in the industry, and potentially exceeding $300, 000 annually during a career.
“We are very pleased to be opening a Coast location in San Marcos, where we have been welcomed with open arms by the City, Greater San Marcos Partnership, and in particular Texas Aviation Partners. They created a very positive business environment for us to invest here, create jobs, and help veterans achieve great success for themselves and their families,” said Bryan Simmons, President of Coast Flight Training. A retired United States Marine and military flight instructor, Simmons served as Presidential Command pilot for two U. S. Presidents.
“Having diverse training options available for your workforce is critical to a community’s strong economy,” said Greater San Marcos Partnership President Adriana Cruz. “The Greater San Marcos region’s large veteran population and proximity to major military operations in Austin and San Antonio coupled with the opportunities found in the San Marcos Regional Airport made the Coast Flight facility an excellent fit. GSMP is thrilled to welcome Coast Flight to the San Marcos Regional Airport and we look forward to the doors their program will open for our area residents and veterans.”
“Coast Flight’s choice of San Marcos shows the true value of our airport in our economic development effort,” said City Councilman and Airport Board Chairman, Scott Gregson. “Increased utilization of our facility and being involved with re-training our veterans to help solve a critical shortage of pilots is a win-win for everyone.”
Partnering with Envoy Air/American Airlines Group, Coast Flight Training instructors will launch the first Rotary Transition Program (RTP) class in San Marcos in early 2017, providing complete transition training of Helicopter pilots to meet FAA fixed wing requirements, along with a conditional offer of employment with Envoy/American Airlines upon successful completion of training and certification.
“Envoy Air is proud to team with Coast to launch this new program in Texas, and to promote commercial aviation as a rewarding career for our U. S. Military Veterans. Coast Flight offers outstanding training and produces well qualified pilots that are ready to join the Envoy/American Airlines Group team, and we welcome them to Texas,” said Ric Wilson, Vice President of Flight Operations, Envoy Air.
The RTP is specifically designed to meet the needs of experienced helicopter pilots, who already have valuable skills that can quickly translate to civilian employment. After approximately 90 days of training, pilots will join the Envoy/American Airlines team, which is making the RTP possible for Veterans by providing tuition assistance and a generous hiring bonus.