CWUAviation NewsAviation News Strives to Meet Staggering Demand for Airline Pilots, 21 Jul 2015 07:50:18<p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 426px; height: 320px;"></p><p>They train airline pilots at Central Washington University and have since the mid-1970s. Now, CWU is looking to expand as it plans to meet its share of the demand for new pilots.</p><p>Boeing on Monday released its newest forecast for worldwide pilot demand, some 558,000 over the next two years - one fifth of those jobs just in North America. The demand for technicians to diagnose, maintain and repair airliners, is even higher, more than 600,000.</p><p>The report shows a 4% gain in expected demand over last year's forecast. Boeing has also raised its Current Market Outlook, its long running forecast of how many new airliners the world will buy. Right now, the CMO's 20-year estimate is the world's airlines will purchase some 38,000 new planes over that same period.</p><p>See more of this story at <a href="">KING-5 News</a>.</p><p>Story by Glenn Farley. Photo courtesy of KING-5 News.</p>Global Experience Distinguishes CWU’s New Aviation Chair, 29 Jun 2015 07:47:58<p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 198px; height: 250px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;">From India, to Singapore, to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, to the United Arab Emirates, Sundaram Nataraja’s career has spanned the globe. Selected as the new chair of the Department of Aviation, Nataraja brings an impressive international background and academic experience to Central Washington University.</p><p>“We are pleased that our program attracted someone of his caliber,” said Paul Ballard, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies.&nbsp; “With his exceptional knowledge, skills, and abilities, the aviation program will be able to meet the demands of a changing aviation industry. We are looking forward to working with him.”</p><p>A strategic thinker and an accomplished administrator, Nataraja will relocate to Ellensburg after concluding his tenure as associate dean for quality and institutional development and professor in aviation management in the College of Business Administration at King Saud University, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Under his leadership, he led a successful strategic planning process, attained accreditation for four undergraduate programs for the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment, reviewed 17 academic programs, conducted 28 faculty development programs, enriched student learning from bachelor’s to doctoral programs, enhanced philanthropy, and ensured faculty research funding to the tune of&nbsp; $12 million annually.</p><p>“’Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself,’ said Nataraja, quoting American philosopher John Dewey. “I have passion for academic excellence, high performance, and effective decision-making. And I endeavor to build a workplace that thrives in an atmosphere of trust, compassion, and professional integrity. I see a great opportunity here at Central and I am eager to use all of my skills and knowledge to take the department to the next level.”</p><p>He has more than three decades of academic and administrative experience, and an outstanding record of scholarship, research, and teaching. Nataraja’s 15 years of airline and aviation industry experience includes his employment with international corporations including Emirates Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines.</p><p>Nataraja has earned degrees from institutions all over the world, including the University of Oxford, England, International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Switzerland and Canada, and University of Madras in India. He has also pursued higher education in the United States and has earned a master’s of science in aviation safety from the University of Central Missouri, and a master’s in educational administration and a doctorate in adult and higher education administration from the University of South Dakota.</p><p>His wife, Vasanthi Nataraja, and children are looking forward to the move to Ellensburg.&nbsp; Nataraja will begin his position at CWU on September 1. Amy Hoover will complete her tenure as chair June 30. Jason Underhill will assume duties as the summer chair of the department until Nataraja arrives.</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>&nbsp;</p></br>CWU Aviation and IASCO Agreement a Boon to Students, Ellensburg, 20 Apr 2015 08:39:25<p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 478px; height: 320px;"></p><p>There will be <strong><em>no</em></strong> increase in flight-training fees for Central Washington University aviation students next year (2015-2016), according to Stuart Thompson, director of contracts and procurement.&nbsp; Recent contract negotiations between CWU and IASCO Flight Training (IFT) sustained the flight-training rate that reduced costs for students by approximately 25 percent this year.</p><p>"Our goal was high quality and lowest possible costs for students," said Thompson, adding that IFT has been slowly growing program strength since the start of the contract last fall. "IFT has been working through facilities, equipment and personnel details and is fully engaged in the program now."</p><p>Thompson said IFT is sending up additional airplanes and providing more flying hours so that students can make timely progress in their degree programs. There are now eight Cessna 172s and 10 instructors on the flight line. A Piper Seminole is scheduled to be added to the flight line by the beginning of May and a Cessna 172RG will be added for certified flight instructor training soon after. IFT is also supplying a mechanic and upgrading its maintenance schedule.</p><p>Ethan Bergman, associate dean for the College of Education and Professional Studies, said most students will be able to complete their courses on schedule, by the end of this academic year. Bergman said, "The department and the college are developing initiatives to mitigate costs if students need to stay into the summer to complete their training."</p><p>Thompson predicted that the agreement also will be a boon to Ellensburg’s Bowers Field Airport. CWU’s Aviation department accounts for more than 70 percent of the traffic at the airport. According to Thompson, IFT’s new management wants to grow aviation business at the airport for everyone.&nbsp; Provost Marilyn Levine will arrange a trip to China within the next month to open discussions about bringing a cohort of Chinese students to enroll in CWU’s aviation and flight training programs. The focus will be on growing enrollment rather than raising student fees</p><p>Bergman said the department is finalizing an agreement with Express Jet Airlines, which will provide new internship opportunities. A new Aviation Management degree was approved and will start officially fall term 2015. Students can take all or part of the program online.</p><p>“The aviation department is stronger than ever,” said Bergman, noting that there was record attendance at the flight center open house for Wildcat Day April 11. “This is great news for our students, but even greater news for Ellensburg and Kittitas County. The continued success of this program is tied inextricably with the health of our community airport. We are proud of our part in keeping Bowers Field an integral part of the aviation community in central Washington.”</p><p>Media Contact: Linda Schactler, CWU Chief of Staff/Executive Director of Public Affairs, 509-963-1384,</p><p><em style="line-height: 1.4;">CWU’s aviation program enrolls about 100 students annually who collectively fly nearly 6,800 hours per year. CWU is the only public university in the Pacific Northwest that offers a bachelor’s degree in aviation and the only place on the West Coast where aviation students can experience the CRJ-200 turbo-jet trainer, airline style curriculum, and the technically advanced turboprop flight trainer.</em></p><p><em style="line-height: 1.4;">4/20/15</em></p></em style="line-height: 1.4;"></em style="line-height: 1.4;">Wildcat Day - Aviation Open House, 03 Apr 2015 23:15:57<p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 356px;">Please join us for our annual spring open house on Wildcat Day Saturday, April 11th. &nbsp;The Aviation Training Center will be open for tours from 10:30AM-3:00PM.</p><p>We look forward to seeing you on Wildcat Day.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p></p>CWU, IASCO Flight Training Sign Contract for Aviation Degree Program, 04 Dec 2014 15:19:02<p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 448px; height: 320px;"></p><p>After several months of negotiations, IASCO Flight Training (IFT) signed a five-year contract today with Central Washington University to provide flight-training services to CWU aviation students. The contract was signed by CWU Provost Marilyn Levine, on behalf of CWU. IFT was represented by Siubun Chu, a majority shareholder of IFT and the president of Qingdao Jiutian International Flight Academy Co., Ltd.</p><p>“We are very pleased with this contract,” said Chu, who also toured the CWU aviation facilities today. “There are many opportunities for both Chinese and American students at CWU.”</p><p>IFT has been providing flight training for CWU aviation students since October, facilitated through a letter of intent. Today’s signing formalizes their commitment to the university and its students.</p><p>In addition to lowering flight-training costs, the IFT contract includes a safety management system plan that meets industry needs and will bring the aviation program a step closer to specialized accreditation by the Aviation Accreditation Board International. Included in the contract is a provision to explore the development of an international studies program at CWU for students associated with the Jiutian International Flight Academy.</p><p>“IFT was intrigued by the opportunities at CWU,” said Marilyn Levine, CWU provost. “Ellensburg's blue skies, strong international studies programs, and excellent aviation program make CWU and IASCO excellent partners in this initiative.”</p><p>CWU’s aviation program enrolls about 100 students annually who collectively fly nearly 6,800 hours per year. The program activity accounts for about 80 percent of takeoffs and landings at Bowers Field in Ellensburg. The contract with IFT, in addition to educating students, is designed to ensure the long-term stability of the program.</p><p>It is estimated that growth in the aviation industry will demand an additional 416,000 new pilots in the next few years, requiring an annual investment in pilot training of approximately $3.5 billion.</p><p>Media Contact: Linda Schactler, Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Public Affairs, 509-963-1384,<br>&nbsp;</p></br>CWU Students Take Flight, 07 Nov 2014 12:57:32<p>Last Friday, on Halloween, CWU students took to the air for the first time with CWU’s flight training partner Iasco Flight Training (IFT).</p><p>CWU and IFT are working diligently to ramp up training activities to meet the needs of CWU students.&nbsp; IFT is operating three Cessna 172s, and expects two more in operation soon.&nbsp; Fast forward one week, and many new students are already completing their third flight lesson.</p><p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 800px; height: 536px;"></p><p>IFT’s fleet of Cessna 172R training aircraft.</p><p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 402px; height: 600px;"></p><p>Jonathon Ly, recent CWU graduate, is one of several IFT flight instructors based here in Ellensburg.</p><p><br>The Department of Aviation faculty and staff thank our students for their patience during this time of transition and we look forward to seeing all of you up in the air.</p></br>CWU Aviation First in Pacific Northwest to Offer New Pilot Certification, 08 Apr 2014 13:58:08<p>Central Washington University’s Aviation program has become the first in the Pacific Northwest approved to authorize graduates for a Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) certificate. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave its final approval this week to CWU.</p><p>“We went through an application process with the FAA, where they reviewed our entire aviation curriculum,” says CWU aviation professor Jason Underhill. “They determined that the program qualifies for the Restricted-ATP. There are only a select few schools across the country that have received this authorization.”</p><p>The R-ATP allows CWU graduates to become airline pilots with 1,000 hours total flight experience rather than 1,500 hours required under the ATP certificate required of other candidates. The 33 percent reduction in total flight time will be a significant cost saving to CWU students. In addition, the R-ATP reduces the required age for certification from 23 to 21.&nbsp;</p><p>“The entire faculty here fully recognized the importance of having the Restricted-ATP authorization for our graduates,” Underhill adds. “It really does give them a leg up.”</p><p>Pilots graduating from higher education aviation programs, along with those coming from the military, are the most likely candidates to be eligible to receive R-ATP certification, Underhill points out.</p><p>The FAA authorization allows CWU aviation students who have graduated within the past five years to receive the R-ATP certification. They can apply for it <a href="">here</a>.</p><p>“That’s a really big plus for all of our alums who have been trying to build up enough flight time to get a job with the airlines,” Underhill adds. “The FAA recognized that the structured programs at universities—like CWU—and colleges provide better learning environments and the best aviation education, which result in more qualified pilots when they’re finished.”</p><p>After completing their CWU professional pilot degree, students will still typically need about 700-more flight hours before receiving R-ATP certification. They will then become in demand by regional air carriers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>“The baby boomer-generation of pilots are hitting age 65, the mandatory retirement age at the airline level,” Underhill says. “A lot of those retirements are at the major airlines. Those replacement pilots will, likely, come from the regional airline level. When those pilots move on to the major airlines there will be a huge shortage of pilots for those regional slots.”</p><p>The R-ATP was developed in accordance with revised FAA regulations that have been put into place over the last five years.</p><p><br><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,</p><p>April 8, 2014</p></br> Professor Dale Wilson Publishes Book on Pilot Safety, 07 Apr 2014 11:51:22<p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 422px; height: 478px;"></p><p>Flying involves risks. Fortunately, most of these risks have been identified and managed down to remarkably low levels. However, accidents still occur, and the key to successful flight is an in-depth knowledge of the risks and how to effectively manage them.</p><p><br>Managing Risk: Best Practices for Pilots, written by Dale Wilson and Gerald Binnema, uses actual aircraft accident examples, statistics, aviation safety studies, and the authors' more than 60 years of combined experience as pilots and flight safety educators to document and describe 10 of the most significant accident threat categories, and shed light on the applicable human-factor issues that make pilots vulnerable to them.</p><p><br>This book provides practical strategies as well as "best practice" countermeasures pilots can use to avoid or effectively manage risks during crucial phases of flight. Readers will have a more complete knowledge of the external threats to flight safety, coupled with a deeper understanding of how human errors often play out in the cockpit.</p><p><br>Students and pilots at all certificate levels will improve their risk management skills by learning the practices described in this book, and ATP applicants will find it fulfills a portion of the new knowledge requirements that become effective August 1, 2014.<br>Softcover, 248 pages. Also available as an eBook and eBundle at</p></br></br></br></br>CWU Aviation Program Names Flight Instruction Partner, 05 Feb 2014 16:00:46<p>Central Washington University today announced the intent to award a contract for flight training to IASCO Flight Training (IFT), based in Redding, California. Negotiations will proceed immediately to finalize a five-year contract that would begin fall 2014.</p><p>“The IFT proposal fully addressed aviation program accreditation, oversight, and cost concerns,” said CWU President James L. Gaudino. “IFT has a wonderful reputation in the industry as a respected leader in aviation services. We are looking forward to getting to know them and welcoming them as a new member of the Ellensburg community.”</p><p>Gaudino said the IFT plan proposes to decrease costs to students, who currently pay as much as $70,000 in additional flight fees for a bachelor’s degree in aviation. The proposal also includes a safety management system plan that meets industry needs and would bring the aviation program a step closer to specialized accreditation by the Aviation Accreditation Board International.</p><p>The program is currently accredited, along with all university programs, by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. CWU’s aviation program is the only fully accredited public university aviation program in the Pacific Northwest.</p><p>Earlier this week, CWU completed a Request for Proposal process to identify a new provider of flight instruction for the Department of Aviation. CWU faculty provide classroom instruction, but contract for flight instruction for the program’s 95 students. They collectively fly nearly 6,800 hours per year and account for about 80 percent of takeoffs and landings at Bowers Field in Ellensburg. Ensuring the stability of the program, and a smooth transition to a new flight-training provider, were the top priorities in the process.</p><p>“IFT is eager to be part of our education and business community. Their solid record of service in the industry is proof that they are prepared to be excellent partners,” said Gaudino, adding that the company has indicated a commitment to establish infrastructure at Bowers Field. “IFT would bring the program state-of-the-art aircraft and avionics, including enhanced safety and tracking procedures.”</p><p>IFT offers global crew leasing and management, customized flight training, airline management services, and full flight services at its base in Napa, California. In 2008 the company expanded to Redding, California, and established IFT. The pilot training program provides standardized and comprehensive, airline-oriented training, which prepares students for aviation careers.</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1384,</p><p>February 5, 2104</p>CWU Aviation Restructures to Earn Accreditation, Satisfy New FAA Rules, 07 Nov 2013 12:15:56<p><img alt="" src="/aviation/sites/" style="width: 530px; height: 314px;"></p><p>Central Washington University's aviation program is enriching the quality of instruction and training to meet stringent new requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and to earn program accreditation, which is increasingly a priority for the aviation-industry partners who hire CWU graduates.</p><p>In July, the FAA passed a rule requiring pilots to have 1,500 hours of flight experience and an Airline Transport rating to fly passenger and cargo airlines. The rule exempts graduates of accredited and approved four-year aviation programs, who can be hired with 1,000 hours flight time.&nbsp;</p><p>“We've got to move quickly to make sure we're providing the kind of education that puts our graduates first in line for jobs,” said Connie Lambert, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. “Accreditation has become a high priority for employers, so it's a high priority for us, too.”&nbsp;</p><p>Last week, CWU issued a “Request For Information” (RFI) to flight school contractors, inviting them to provide information about their ability to provide flight instruction for the program. CWU faculty provide classroom instruction that is highly integrated with flight instruction in aircraft and simulators. Contractors must be an FAA-approved flight school and provide certified flight instructors who hold bachelor’s degrees. Contractors also must ensure curriculum is approved by CWU. Both elements are necessary to meet the requirements of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the agency that accredits CWU.</p><p>CWU also will seek new program-specific accreditation from the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). Through the two-year, peer-reviewed accreditation process, AABI approves curriculum and program outcomes—what program graduates should know and be able to do.</p><p>CWU President James L. Gaudino said the RFI cites a preference for the flight training to occur at Bowers Field Airport, in Ellensburg, both because the location is most convenient for students and because the role of the program is critical to sustaining the FAA classification of Bower's Field Airport, two miles north of Ellensburg. The CWU program's 95 students fly nearly 6,800 hours per year and account for about 80 percent of take-offs and landings at the airport.</p><p>“Bowers Field is an important asset to the economic profile of Kittitas County in general, and Ellensburg in particular,” noted Gaudino, who said that the university already had been contacted for more information by regional flight-training providers. “We will continue to provide excellent flight training for our students, and I do hope it can be at Bowers Field. But there are many facilities and contractors in the state that can provide this service.”</p><p>CWU faculty teach aviation classroom content, but for many years flight training has been provided at Bowers Field Airport by Mid State Aviation. In June, Mid State Aviation notified the university that it would not renew CWU’s contract, which ends in August 2014.</p><p>While CWU searches for a new contractor, the aviation program is taking several other steps to enhance education and training, including the development of a comprehensive, industry-standard safety plan. The plan will include a safety policy that establishes the university's commitment to continually improve safety, and a risk management strategy. The plan also will incorporate safety-assurance measures to evaluate the effectiveness of on-going risk-control strategies, and a plan to promote safety and create a workplace culture that values safety.</p><p>“The industry-standard safety plan is required for accreditation and an important component of professional education,” said Amy Hoover, the chair of the Department of Aviation. “Employers are placing a tremendous premium on graduates who value and understand the importance of a comprehensive and consistent approach to safety and who graduate knowing how an industry-standard safety plan works.”</p><p>Demand for pilots is expected to require nearly half a million more commercial airline pilots over the next 20 years. The 2013 Boeing Pilot &amp; Technician Outlook says a key driver of the demand is “surging aviation demand in emerging markets.”</p><p>Hoover said the increased demand has combined with increased training requirements and a surge of pilot retirements to create a “perfect storm” in the aviation industry.</p><p>“The new 1,500-hour requirement is a two-fold increase in flight-experience time—which increases the cost as well as the time needed to become a pilot,” said Hoover, who said another new rule that adds rest time to pilots' schedules will require many airlines to increase their pilot workforce by five percent. “We're doing what it takes to stay ahead of changes in the aviation industry and to increase the number of aviation graduates we produce.”</p><p>Hoover said that a program innovation in 2012 now allows pilots to earn a CWU bachelor's degree in three years instead of four. CWU has established direct-hire agreements with Horizon Air, American Eagle, and Pinnacle Airlines. CWU is the only public university in the Northwest that offers a bachelor of science degree in aviation and the only place on the West Coast where aviation students can experience the CRJ-200 turbo-jet trainer, airline style curriculum, and the technically advanced turboprop flight trainer.</p><p><br>Media Contact:&nbsp; Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-607-4103,</p></br>