ROANOKE, Va. –
As the nation continues to experience a pilot shortage, our local pilot training center is expanding its program.
Star Flight Training says it is seeing more students want to become airline pilots, so the training center has increased the number of flight instructors to meet the demand.
This summer, the program has hired two flight instructors bringing its staff to eight in all.
Most of the students training at the center say they plan to pursue aviation as a full-time career.
"I am just getting experience being around the planes, working on hours. My goal is to be an airline pilot one day," said student pilot Kala Pait of Star Flight.
“We are seeing a large increase in people who want to be pilots who want to fill that gap. If you compare each month to the previous year, we see anywhere between 75 to 150 percent increase, month to month year to year," Star Flight chief pilot Jon Beard said.
Beard says he's excited to see so many ambitious students working toward a career in aviation.