Flexjet, Purdue launch pathway for private jet maintenance technicians

An agreement between Flexjet and Purdue University will provide both parties with a variety of benefits.

By Doug Gollan, November 17, 2023

With a labor shortage still stifling the supply chain, Flexjet, Inc. has struck a deal with Purdue University to provide a pipeline of maintenance technicians.

Purdue University’s Center for Research and Education in Advanced Technology Ecosystems (CREATE) has entered into an exclusive agreement to develop AeroSphere for Business Aviation, described as “a living ecosystem where learning, working, and innovation converge.”

CREATE is a hub of innovation and technical expertise in Purdue University’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology, America’s first and most committed powerhouse for advancing transportation technology in higher education.

As part of the agreement, Flexjet provides hands-on experiences with real-world experiences and challenges.

‘Real World’ Experience

Kevin Dillon, President of Flexjet’s Constant Aviation unit, says, “Our goal in partnering with Purdue University was simple: We wanted to align the best academic university in the world for aviation and aerospace technology with the best global business jet operator and create a new approach to professional development that is unlike anything we have seen in our industry.”

AeroSphere will serve as a career accelerator with Purdue, also assisting Flexjet in redesigning the company’s professional development and educational programs for its apprenticeship program (pre-professional training) and advanced continuing education for its licensed technicians (post-professional training).

The Flexjet apprentice program takes candidates vetted for aptitude and company culture from zero experience to licensed aviation technicians (A&P and advanced avionics training) in just over two years.

The apprentices earn full-time wages while training and graduate with a job offer from Flexjet.

“The support from Purdue will further enhance our ongoing efforts to invest in the more than 1,300 people employed in Flexjet’s Global Maintenance and Product Support division,” said Flexjet Senior Executive for Global Maintenance and Product Support, Jay Heublein.

He added, “This partnership will radically change the world of technician education, which will, in turn, provide our team members with an incredible level of professional fulfillment while also providing Flexjet with an enormous competitive advantage as we look to continue expanding our overall support infrastructure.”

“There are three distinguishing features of AeroSphere,” Manoj Patankar, director of CREATE at Purdue University, said, adding, “It is built on the new Part 147 requirements, it matches the best of on-the-job training and online learning, and it is competency-based.” Mike Suckow, associate director of CREATE, also noted: “This ‘lab-to-life’ experience ensures students can immediately apply what they have learned. Reciprocally, it also brings life back into labs to ensure that the academic side stays current and relevant. This constant feedback loop ensures a vibrant, dynamic learning environment.”

Flexjet In-House Maintenance

Flexjet has been increasing its in-house maintenance with its acquisition of Flying Colours.

It operates aircraft from Gulfstream, Embraer, and Bombardier.

Earlier this week Flexjet announced a new global training center for cabin attendants outside of London, England.

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