The Arizona Commerce Authority announced that United Aviate Academy (UAA), wholly owned subsidiary of United Airlines, will lease a state-of-the-art pilot training facility at Phoenix Goodyear Airport. United Aviate Academy will welcome its inaugural class of aspiring pilots to the facility on Dec. 6.
Representing an investment of more than $10 million and the creation of hundreds of jobs, the program at Phoenix Goodyear Airport will provide aspiring pilots with resources, equipment and accommodations. UAA will lease the facility from the City of Phoenix. The facility was previously home to Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT) and United Aviate Academy will sublease part of its facility to LAT, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa, a United Star Alliance partner.
“I am elated that United Airlines has chosen Goodyear to expand its pilot training program, United Aviate Academy,” said Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. “The Phoenix Goodyear Airport has a longstanding tradition of excellence in aviation training, and we are excited to see United continuing that legacy. Their announcement today and future plans for expansion will continue to bolster the aviation industry employment in our growing community.”
“We are thrilled to welcome our first class of students to the academy’s new home at Phoenix Goodyear Airport,” said Mary Ann Schaffer, United’s chief pilot and member of the United Aviate Academy board of directors. “The facility ensures we have the resources to expand our training capabilities and that the next generation of aviators will receive industry-leading training toward their goal of becoming a pilot for United Airlines.”
The 340,000-square-foot Goodyear facility will feature a leased fleet of late-model Cirrus SR-20 series single-engine aircraft with advanced safety characteristics, two aircraft hangars, nearly 50,000 square feet of office space, and dormitory rooms for student housing with room for expansion.
“United Aviate Academy’s pilot training program is a valued addition to Arizona’s aviation sector and we’re excited to welcome their inaugural program to Goodyear,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We are grateful to UAA for choosing Goodyear, creating hundreds of jobs for Arizonans in a rapidly-growing industry.”
“Phoenix Goodyear Airport is excited to welcome United Airlines and the students of their wholly owned subsidiary, United Aviate Academy,” said Director of Aviation Services Chad Makovsky. “Phoenix Goodyear Airport has been a long-standing partner with flight schools training future generations of pilots. This new partnership will continue to give students a place where they can receive the training they need while also providing a boost to our airport system and the West Valley.”
The Phoenix Goodyear Airport was founded in 1940 and was first known as the Naval Air Facility Litchfield Park. It became a hub for the U.S. Navy and was established as a U.S. Navy Air facility to test, fly and deliver aircraft during World War II. It remained a naval facility after the war ended, preserving and storing aircraft from 1945 to 1965. In 1968, the City of Phoenix purchased the land as an alternative airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Currently, the airport serves as a home to various businesses including fixed base operator Lux Air Jet Centers and AerSale, an aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) business.
Over the past few years, Goodyear has welcomed expansions from industry leaders including Amazon, Ball Corporation, Microsoft, and most recently, Helix Electric, which announced in September that its first manufacturing facility in Arizona will be located in Goodyear.