Today marks the graduation of the first group of easyJet pilots on the first airline-supported BSc (Hons) Professional Aviation Pilot Practice PAPP degree. This unique degree course, designed specifically for pilots, was launched in 2013 in a partnership between airline pilot training and simulation organisation L3 Commercial Training Solutions (L3), (formerly CTC Aviation), Middlesex University and easyJet.
The seven pilots graduating today – Anna McGrady, Steven Hadley, Matthew Archer, George Baker, James Rose, Reece Montagu and Jack Shaw are the very first in the country to graduate on the degree programme and all started their professional flying careers flying with easyJet.
They are the first of over 130 students currently enrolled on the Middlesex University degree course while completing or having completed their airline pilot training at L3’s Airline Academy.
The BSc (Hons) degree in Professional Aviation Pilot Practice (PAPP) is awarded by Middlesex University and run through the Institute of Work-based Learning. This time-efficient degree does not require cadets to attend a university campus and enables them to gain two professional qualifications (airline transport pilot licence and degree) within three years.
The first two years of the course are completed at L3’s Airline Academy, through training on an airline pilot career programme alongside parallel, practice based university work. Study continues beyond their initial airline pilot training once they join easyJet, flying as a co-pilot while completing their third and final year of the degree, allowing them to learn while they earn.
Training to become a pilot while completing the degree can also provide aspiring pilots access to student loans to help finance their studies.
Speaking about the graduation today Brian Tyrrell, easyJet’s Head of Flight Operations, commented:
“I am delighted that the first of our pilots participating in this degree are graduating today as it is absolutely vital to easyJet’s future that we have a pipeline of talented young pilots coming through.
“We have been delighted to work in partnership with L3 Commercial Training Solutions and Middlesex University to offer this degree course for our pilots which builds on the easyJet cadet programme that offers a clear career path for all pilots joining easyJet.
“L3’s Airline Academy graduates join easyJet as co-pilots and once they have completed their first year with us they can then join easyJet as permanent employees. After flying for a further two years and reaching 2500 hours with easyJet they then become Senior First Officers. From that stage the aim is to achieve their Command and become Captains.
“With easyJet’s continued planned growth the time taken from First Officer to Captain is likely to be quicker than at other airlines. Beyond that there are further opportunities for pilots to develop their career whether that is into a training or management role.
“What this means is that those pilots joining easyJet now could well be looking at achieving their Command within 6 years. All our pilots will be flying on a modern fleet of aircraft, with industry leading punctuality, high quality training and an unrivalled European network and those joining easyJet can be confident of a long and successful career.”
easyJet pilot, Anna McGrady who is graduating commented:
”I am thrilled to be graduating alongside my colleagues today on the BSc (Hons) in Professional Aviation Pilot Practice. This course has given me the opportunity to undertake a degree alongside my commercial pilot training. The degree is designed in a way that fits very well into the flight training schedule, with no degree modules required at key pressure points – for example, during the 14 ATPL exams that all pilots undertake. I consider the degree has taught me to be a reflective practitioner, continually assessing how I can improve my performance.
The degree course also qualifies students for a student loan, which helps towards the costs of commercial pilot training. Having achieved my commercial pilot’s licence during the second year of the degree, I was employed as an airline pilot with easyJet in the final year, which also eased the financial pressures.
Throughout the degree course, I’ve received considerable support and encouragement from easyJet, L3 Airline Academy and Middlesex University. There has always been someone to approach for advice and it has always been willingly given. I am extremely pleased that I chose to undertake this degree.”
Alan Crawford, President of L3 Commercial Training Solutions commented:
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with both easyJet with Middlesex University to provide this innovative qualification and to celebrate the incredible achievements of our graduates here today. Developing new avenues for professional development means we remain at the forefront of pilot training, providing current and high-impact training to aspiring pilots in total alignment with airline requirements.”
Mick Betts, Director of Aviation Programmes at Middlesex University, commented:
“We are delighted to see the first group of students on this innovative new degree about to graduate. They have been a pleasure to work with throughout and their achievements on this work based degree is a testimony to the quality of the training they receive at L3’s Airline Academy, at work in their first year at easyJet and in their academic work with Middlesex. Our degree partnership with L3 Commercial Training Solutions has worked extremely well and with over 130 students now on the programme this group will be the first of many professional pilots to graduate on this joint programme”.
Anyone wishing to apply to the Generation easyJet Pilot Training Programme and integrate a degree into their training can do so via L3AirlineAcademy.com/easyJet
easyJet is Europe’s leading airline offering a unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe’s primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service.
easyJet flies on more of Europe’s most popular routes than any other airline. easyJet carries 73 million passengers annually, of which around 20% are travelling on business. easyJet flies over 250 aircraft on more than 800 routes to over 130 airports across 31 countries. More than 300 million Europeans live within one hour’s drive of an easyJet airport.
The airline takes sustainability seriously. easyJet invests in the latest technology, operates efficiently and fills most of its seats which means that an easyJet passenger’s carbon footprint is 22% less than a passenger on a traditional airline, flying the same aircraft on the same route.
About L3 Commercial Training Solutions
L3 Commercial Training Solutions (L3 CTS) is a world leader in providing intelligent total training solutions for pilots and maintainers across a wide range of commercial platforms. The company is headquartered in Crawley, U.K., and delivers training, resourcing and systems production from global centers in Southampton, Bournemouth and Coventry in the U.K.; Minnesota, Orlando and Phoenix in the U.S.; Hamilton in New Zealand; and Bangkok in Thailand. L3 CTS is part of the Electronic Systems business segment. To learn more about L3 CTS, please visit the company’s websites at www.L3CTS.com and www.L3AirlineAcademy.com.
About Middlesex University London
For nearly 140 years Middlesex University London and its predecessor institutions have been home to innovators and change-makers. We are a progressive London university that puts our students first and provides expert teaching informed by inspiring research and practice.
We boast one of the most diverse, multinational and multicultural communities of students and staff of any university in the UK with 19,400 students and 1,900 staff from 140 different countries based at our modern north London campus in Hendon alone. Middlesex University also has campuses in Dubai, Mauritius and Malta, bringing the total number of students to 37,000.
We work with employers to make sure that what our students learn is what employers need, and we strive to transform the lives of our students so that they have an excellent experience while they are with us, and a solid foundation for inspiring careers when they leave us.
For more information go to www.mdx.ac.uk.
For further information please contact the easyJet press office on 01582 525252 or visit www.easyJet.com
For more information about Middlesex University please contact PR Officer, Nick Boothroyd: N.Boothroyd@mdx.ac.uk or 0208 411 4115.
For more information about L3 Commercial Training Solutions please contact Richard Wolfe, Marketing Communications Manager – richard.wolfe@L3T.com or 01293 491520