‘Study now, pay later’ cadet pilot training program launched

MANILA — Reaching for one’s dreams is not always easy. There may be many barriers and for some, these include lack of money.

For someone to become a pilot, he/she needs to prepare PHP2 million to PHP3.8 million for a 12-month training program, according to Capt. Samuel Avila, vice president for Flight Operations of Cebu Pacific.

He said pilot training is a high-risk investment since the training fees are high, yet there’s no guarantee for employment.

Recognizing the importance of education and with a goal of producing better number of highly skilled aviators, Cebu Pacific launched its Cadet Pilot training program on Tuesday here.

Basically, under this program, Filipinos wanting to become a pilot can study and train now, then pay later. Cebu Pacific will finance the training course. Successful applicants will be employed by the airline, and they can pay for the training cost through through salary deduction over a maximum of 10 years.

The program is open for Filipinos, male or female, college graduate with a valid passport. “(There is) no age requirement, as long as the person is a college graduate, and is proficient in English,” Avila told the Philippine News Agency.

He said a rigorous screening process would be done.

Successful candidates will undergo a 56-Week integrated flying program, flight theory and education course at the Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia.

FTA provides customized aviation training solutions for the fixed wing and rotary wing industry. FTA’s goal is not just to train cadets for them to obtain a license, but to produce future airline and helicopter captains.

Speaking of license, Avila told PNA that he, for instance, needs to renew his license every six months. That means, he has to undergo several tests to renew his license. He also noted that his job is a continuous learning process.

Cebu Pacific will invest USD25 million for this program for five years.

Each year, three batches (16 successful candidates per batch) will be sent to the FTA. Avila said the first batch would go there on the first quarter of 2018.

Interested applicants may check the airline’s website for the application form. After the online screening, there will be an onsite screening for core skills and aptitude tests. Both the airline and the FTA will select who would be the successful candidates.

They will undergo training at the FTA for 52 weeks. there, they can earn their diplomas in aviation.

Cadet pilots will then train on a flight simulator, then on an actual aircraft, for them to complete the licensing requirements to be a commercial pilot.

They will return to the Philippines to undergo a four-week training to get a pilot’s license.

“We hope that through this program, we would have a continued access to a pool of highly skilled aviators who would support our growth,” remarked Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific’s president and CEO, during the launch. Ma. Cristina Arayata/PNA-northboundasia.com