Tomorrow’s Pilots Are Going Back to School


The start of a new school year is upon us, but for millions of teachers and students across the country, including future airline pilots, going back to school this year looks a lot different. While aviation today is experiencing unprecedented circumstances, this is not the first time our industry has faced challenges, and the path to becoming an airline pilot remains unchanged—the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) continues its mission to inspire and equip students of all ages with the right tools to become airline pilots.

The industry has historically seen highs and lows, but ALPA remains steadfast in its mission to be a constant presence for its current and future members. Regardless of the hiring environment, the training pipeline must be curated and cared for, as these pilots will one day be filling our seats. Mentoring is just as important, if not more, when we experience some industry turbulence. The professional pilots of ALPA fly safely around the globe no matter what the circumstance, just like those who are building flight experience right now do daily.

Whether returning to school virtually, in-person, or a hybrid of both, ALPA has resources and tools for the next generation of airline pilots to explore in the comfort of their own homes on their own time through Cleared to Dream—our comprehensive website for aspiring aviators in kindergarten through college.

Cleared to Dream offers a one-stop-shop with information and activities for students to learn what it’s like to be an airline pilot and steps to becoming a pilot, along with educational resources. For those in grades K–8, Cleared to Dream offers a series of free activities to print and download:

 STEM Activity—the Windsock Game

Aviation Coloring Book and Word Search

The Aviation Alphabet

Flying Flashcards

For many current and retired airline pilots, the idea of learning to fly was introduced at a young age. Others have found inspiration while flying in a general aviation aircraft cockpit, service in the military, or from family and friends in the industry. Whatever the reason for becoming an airline pilot, teaching kids about a career in aviation is instrumental for the future of the profession.

“The year ahead will undoubtedly continue to be turbulent for the airline industry,” said ALPA’s Education Committee chairman, F/O Costas Sivyllis. “Despite the changes the industry is facing, it’s imperative ALPA members continue to promote the pilot profession. No matter who you are or where you came from, if you love flying, you can be an airline pilot. Share your passion for flight with young minds and future leaders—the livelihood of our industry depends on the future generations to come.”

ALPA was created in 1931 with one mission: to advance aviation safety. ALPA’s long history of accomplishments includes organizing and bargaining victories along with critical improvements in aviation safety and security. We’ve also made great strides to become the industry leader in advancing the pilot profession.  For more information or to get involved, contact the ALPA Education Committee.

 

 

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