Research Foundation News

May 17, 2017

PSA Airlines and Purdue Aviation form commercial flight training partnership

Niswonger partnership Scott Niswonger, chairman of Purdue Aviation, and pilot Brett France, sit in the cockpit of a CRJ 200 during Purdue Aviation Day at the Purdue University Airport. Purdue Aviation and PSA Airlines announced Wednesday (May 17), a commercial flight training partnership to help meet the growing demand for pilots. (Photo provided by PSA Airlines) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — PSA Airlines and Purdue Aviation announced Wednesday (May 17) a partnership to fast-track Purdue University and Purdue Aviation flight students to become commercial airline pilots. Through the airline’s Cadet Program partnership, Purdue Aviation will be designated a PSA Airlines flight training academy partner. 

PSA Airlines was among the first regional carriers to launch its industry-leading Cadet Program to help the most promising future pilots make a smooth transition from the classroom at top colleges, universities and flight schools to the cockpit. PSA Airlines is the fastest-growing regional airline in the country, and with a true pilot flow through agreement to American Airlines, a career as a mainline pilot for the largest airline in the world can start with this program. 

“The airline industry provides incredibly well-paying careers for individuals that are willing to take advantage of this opportunity" said Scott Niswonger, Chairman of the Board of Purdue Aviation. “The timing for this partnership is particularly good, given the challenging environment to find qualified pilots.” 

Purdue Aviation is jointly owned by Purdue alum Scott Niswonger and the Purdue Research Foundation and is located in the Purdue Aerospace District. Purdue Aviation holds a part 141 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration allowing them to train at the highest standards and in shorter time. The one-year intensive training by Purdue Aviation will be to airline-based standards and procedures making transition to commercial flight positions seamless. 

"PSA is delighted to partner with Purdue Aviation" said Christine Wampach, director of recruiting - flight operations for PSA Airlines. "The quality of students and training is exactly what we are looking for to supply well-trained pilots that can meet the high standards of PSA Airlines.” 

PSA Airlines will offer unique pilot mentoring that will successfully prepare students for becoming a PSA pilot, access to the latest technology resources such as Coradine LogTen Pro X, and corporate visits inviting exposure into the PSA system.  Upon completion of the student’s commercial, instrument, multiengine, and flight instructor certification and the required minimum hours of flight time as required by the FAA, they will be eligible for the opportunity to become PSA pilots. Purdue pilots accepting employment from PSA will receive a $16,520 signing bonus. 

The PSA Airlines and Purdue Aviation relationship is an accelerated program over the period of a year. Classes and flight training will be conducted by Purdue Aviation at the Purdue University Airport. 

About Purdue Aviation LLC

Purdue Aviation, located at the Purdue University Airport, KLAF, in West Lafayette, Indiana, offers premium flight support including fueling, hangar space ground transportation and is a certified aircraft maintenance center. As a premier flight training providers Purdue Aviation provides pilot license training, fuel sales, aircraft maintenance, aircraft rental and aircraft sales.

About PSA Airlines

PSA Airlines operates an all-jet fleet consisting of exclusively Bombardier regional jet aircraft. The company’s 3,000 employees operate nearly 700 daily flights to nearly 90 destinations. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, PSA also has flight crew bases located in Dayton, Cincinnati, Ohio, Knoxville, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, North Carolina. PSA has maintenance facilities in Dayton and Canton, Ohio and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina. PSA operates 35 Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft, 27 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft and 54 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft. The airline expects to add additional aircraft bringing its fleet count to 150. 

About Purdue Research Park Aerospace District

Purdue Research Park Aerospace District is situated on the southwest corner of the internationally recognized Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The 980-acre aerospace district, under development by the Purdue Research Foundation, is a flagship for public and private aerospace research and development to advance aviation and aeronautics innovations. Plans for the aerospace district, which encompasses the Purdue University Airport, Purdue Aviation, Rolls Royce Aircraft Engine R & D Center and the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories, include opportunities for aerospace companies that wish to collaborate with Purdue to build research and development facilities. The site has already been named an Indiana Certified Technology Park by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

About Purdue Research Foundation

Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue 

Media contact: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, 

Source: Jeff Pittard, Purdue Aviation, 765-743-9692,

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