Amid Pilot Shortage, South Florida Gains a New Aviation Degree Program

Press Release

College Degree

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. –  Wayman Aviation Academy has received formal accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) to offer Associate’s degrees in Aeronautical Science for students seeking to become commercial pilots. The new two-year associate degree program is the only one of its kind in South Florida, as the academy is the only independent flight school in the region with AA accreditation. Classes will begin on January 11, 2023. 

The two-year program will allow students the opportunity to secure 72 college credits which include all of the FAA certifications through Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor ratings. Those who earn the degree and the requisite 1,250 hours of flight experience will be eligible to be hired by an airline. 

“For over 30 years, we have proudly been providing the South Florida community with high-quality aviation instruction, and are excited to take this next step in the academy’s evolution,” said Tony Shen, president of Wayman Aviation Academy. “Through our new Associate’s degree program, we hope to usher in the next generation of pilots and help our industry overcome the issues it now faces due to the pandemic.”

Thousands of pilots retired during COVID-19, outpacing the rate of new pilots entering the field and leaving a major gap in the airline industry. The resulting staffing shortages have contributed to flight delays and cancellations nationwide. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there to be more than 18,000 openings for airline and commercial pilots each year over the next decade, it is uncertain whether there will be enough pilots to fill these positions given the shrinking pipeline of students and a limited number of proper training institutions.

By offering accessible and affordable aviation instruction, it is our hope that the associate degree program will inspire more people to explore a career in flying,” said Wayman Eduardo Luy, vice president of Wayman Aviation Academy. 

The void in qualified pilots presents an enormous opportunity for the tri-county area to become a beacon for aeronautical education. The aerospace and aviation industry is the largest employer in South Florida and boasts more than 2,000 privately operated air and space flight-related firms throughout the state, according to the Florida Economic Development Council. Associate programs like the one offered at Wayman Aviation Academy can help train the new pilots and give them a pathway to increase their salary potential upon entering the field.

“We are thrilled that Wayman Aviation Academy is offering an associate degree in aeronautical science, and anticipate it will help alleviate the problems our state’s airport staffing shortages have caused for travelers and pilots alike,” said Marc Henderson, member, Aviation Leadership Council, Department of Aviation and Safety, Florida Memorial University.

The degree offers courses on theory and flight training, commercial piloting, and the opportunity to complete required flying hours on-site. Students will be able to access Wayman’s 39 certified instructors, 40 airplanes, new campus at North Perry Airport, and state-of-the-art simulators. Wayman’s new accreditation also creates access to scholarships and financial aid for students. 

For more information about the Wayman Aviation Academy, please visit wayman.edu.

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About Wayman Aviation Academy

Wayman Aviation Academy ( http://Wayman.edu ) is the largest and longest-running Ab Initio flight school in South Florida. The academy is currently celebrating 35 years of launching pilot careers into the skies and has added an Associate in Aeronautical Science degree program. The school focuses on initial commercial flight training to provide students with career opportunities at major airline carriers. The organization’s partners include SkyWest and Republic Airways, which serve as feeders to American Airlines, United, and Delta. Wayman is approved for international student visas.

Wayman Aviation operates a fleet of over forty aircraft at Hollywood North Perry Airport (KHWO) between Miami, FL, USA and Ft Lauderdale. Wayman Aviation partners with Miami-Dade College, Florida Memorial University, and Liberty University for degree programs. Learn more about Wayman Aviation Academy at Wayman.edu or on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook @WaymanAviation