The Napa Jet Center Flight School is offering a weekly class for future pilots beginning Thursday, Jan. 17 — and the center’s chief flight instructor is encouraging young people to apply.
A 2012 report from Boeing that states that the expanding global economy will create an “unprecedented” demand for people who can fly and maintain commercial jetliners. According to Boeing, approximately 460,000 new commercial airline pilots will be needed worldwide by 2031.
“It’s a good time to get into aviation,” said Malcolm Lenson, chief flight instructor at the Napa Jet Center.
To encourage young people at the local level, two seniors from every Napa-area high school are eligible for free tuition for “basic ground school,” which prepares future pilots for the airmen knowledge test required by the Federal Aviation Administration. The cost of the class typically ranges between $125 and $195.
While there is no age limit for the ground school class, Lenson said he does not recommend starting flight instruction until 16 years of age, since students must be 17 to get a powered license.
Basic ground school at the Napa Jet Center is classroom-based. Students will not fly airplanes, but the class will include a tour of the Northern California Air Traffic Control Facility in Rancho Cordova.
Each class is about three hours long and takes place once a week for 15 weeks.
The Napa Jet Center was formerly known as Bridgeford Flying Services.