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Embry-Riddle Sells CAPT Program


The Resourcer!
May 11, 2004
Total Time
Official: Embry-Riddle Sells CAPT Program

Long rumored, ERAU has disclosed that it has sold its non-degree Commercial Airline Pilot Training (CAPT) program to Flight Training Services International (FTSI), a company whose president and CEO, Shawn Raker, is an alumnus of the university. Raker, who earned a bachelor?s degree in aeronautical studies from the university in 1990, has 16 years of experience as a pilot and proficiency check airman for a major airline in Atlanta.
The CAPT program, located at Flagler County Airport in Bunnell, Fla., enrolls students who already have degrees, but are looking for a career change. Of the program?s 71 graduates, 57 have been hired as pilots by regional airlines, cargo carriers, and corporate flight departments since it began in August 2003.
CAPT ceased enrolling new cadets on Feb. 14 when Embry-Riddle shifted focus back to its flagship flight program, aeronautical science. The four-year aeronautical science degree program educates nearly 2,000 students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz. ?We will retain the CAPT name, training curriculum, and staff,? Raker said. ?FTSI has already begun recruiting efforts for new students and flight training contracts.? The program will continue to operate at Flagler County Airport.
?CAPT was a tremendously effective experiment in proving that an individual could go from zero flight time to the right seat of a commercial jetliner with as little as 225 flight hours,? said Martin Schaaf, executive director of CAPT. ?The transition to FTSI will further expand our success in reaching out to airlines worldwide to meet the impending shortage of pilots, which is already starting to occur outside the United States.?
As part of the deal, FTSI will donate $100,000 a year for five years to Embry-Riddle for scholarships to aeronautical science students, said Raker, who is chairman of Careers in Aviation, a non-profit organization that promotes aviation to America?s youth. ?We are not only dedicated to training the next generation of pilots, but drawing talented professionals into the wide range of aviation careers,? Raker said. ?These scholarships will do just that, and give more young people the opportunity to pursue their dreams in aviation.?
FTSI is a rapidly growing civilian and military flight-training provider with operations in the United States and South America.