WMU News

Aviation college inks new airline agreement

June 6, 2002

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Atlantic Coast Airlines became Western Michigan University's newest domestic partner, thanks to a bridge hiring program for pilots announced today, June 6, at the College of Aviation.

Jim Jennings, chief pilot with ACA, traveled from the firm's corporate headquarters in Dulles, Va., to the college's aviation facilities at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek to sign an agreement with college officials and interview the first candidates for the new program. The program will bring WMU students into the ACA organization as pilot interns and give them preferential hiring consideration for positions as first officers when they successfully complete the program.

The five-year agreement between ACA and WMU also will bring new aircraft training materials to the college and will allow ACA representatives to be involved in aviation curriculum development at the University.

"We're tremendously pleased to add ACA to the list of airlines who have reviewed our programs and want our graduates as part of their organizations," says Gregory A. Lyman, dean of WMU's College of Aviation. "Agreements like this one are important indicators that the industry appreciates the quality of our programs."

ACA, the fastest growing regional carrier in the United States, operates as United Express in the Eastern and Midwestern United States, and as Delta Connection in the Eastern United States and Canada. The company has a fleet of 124 aircraft-including 93 regional jets-and offers more than 800 daily departures, serving 67 destinations in the United States and Canada.

Atlantic Coast Airlines employs more than 4,200 aviation professionals. In May, ACA officials reported a nearly 70 percent increase in passenger traffic for the first four months of the year in comparison with the same period in 2001.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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