l3 increases cadet pilot training capacity with significant aircraft order

April 3, 2019

L3 Commercial Aviation has selected Piper Aircraft to supply as many as 240 new aircraft options to expand and modernize the airline fleet across its Airline Academy pilot training sites. The fleet will support growing demand for its cadet pilot programs in light of the global shortage of pilots.

“Many cadets tell us that the first time they take to the skies is one of the most exhilarating and important moments within their training journey. That’s why we are continuously exploring ways to improve both the quality and capacity of our training facilities,” said Geoff van Klaveren, Vice President of Airline Academy, which is part of L3 Commercial Aviation. “This significant investment in expanding and modernizing our fleet with these brand-new aircraft will help us in our aspiration to provide the highest-quality training while meeting the increasing international demand for new pilots from our airline customers.”

The new fleet will be equipped with the latest technology used on commercial jets, providing an up-to-date training environment for pilots of the future as they prepare for their goal of joining a commercial airline. As part of the deal, the first 26 aircraft will arrive this year from April onwards and will include 19 single-engine Piper Archers and seven twin-engine Piper Seminoles.

The new aircraft will feature glass cockpits and include the latest safety equipment, such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), complementing and supporting the current fleet.

“We are delighted to sign this long-term deal with L3, knowing that our aircraft will be helping to launch the careers of aspiring pilots around the world,” said Simon Caldecott, President and CEO of Piper Aircraft, Inc. “These modern planes are the ideal aircraft for cadets to learn and first experience the unique joy of flying.”

The new aircraft will be based at L3’s Airline Academies in Florida, U.S.; Ponte de Sor, Portugal; and in the U.K. The deal represents a significant investment in L3’s infrastructure and training capacity throughout its international footprint.

During the last 18 months, L3 Commercial Aviation’s cadet training operations have opened a new Airline Academy in Ponte de Sor, Portugal, and invested in new facilities, aircraft and technologies at existing sites in the U.K., U.S. and New Zealand. L3 has also invested in training and recruiting more pilot instructors to increase capacity across its sites.