NEW YORK — Aviation Academy, a school that teaches pilots to fly airplanes, is looking to hire at least three more employees as it gears up for the second year in a row for its $2 billion expansion.
The school’s CEO, John G. “Jack” Williams, said Tuesday that he would soon announce the hiring of a third full-time employee to join a staff of about 300 people as the school prepares to hire more than 2,500 pilots for a total of nearly 1,000 flights.
Williams said the job would be in the aviation aviation field.
The school, which opened in 2010 in a former airline hangar on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, was the first of its kind in the country to operate its own flights from a hangar.
Its expansion has been met with controversy as critics said it was a costly and time-consuming effort that would have limited the number of people who could fly.
Williams said the school would expand in a “new direction” to bring more instructors to fly, and it would also hire more flight instructors, including those in the aerospace field, to help teach students.
Avionics instructor Richard F. Guggenheim said he’s excited to be part of the school’s new program.
He said it would allow him to travel more frequently and get better at teaching students the basics of flying.
“This is going to be the best school of its sort anywhere, period,” Gugginheim said.
“The sky is the limit.”
The expansion of the program will allow the school to train pilots for future commercial and military aircraft, and its graduates are expected to fly more than a million times over the next five years.
Guggenheimer said the flight school’s expansion will have a positive impact on the local economy.
A pilot flying from New York to California, the United States, last year was paid $25,000 to $35,000, with an average of $40,000 per flight, according to a report by the Aviation Association.
The pilot who completed the flight in February had a total earnings of more than $150,000.
Williams said he is pleased to be expanding the school so quickly.
I think the people who work here have a very unique skill set, and I’m going to work with the students, the pilots, to make sure they get the education they need,” he said.