Leading aviation and aerospace school Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has announced plans to replace much of its existing training fleet with aircraft from Textron Aviation and Diamond Aircraft.
The university selected 60 new Cessna Skyhawks from Textron Aviation Inc. alongside four new Diamond DA42-VI aircraft from Diamond Aircraft Industries, confirming the decision at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
“In keeping with Embry-Riddle’s rigorous focus on aviation safety, new aircraft for our fleet were selected following an exhaustive evaluation by a team of experts on both our Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., campuses,” said Dr P. Barry Butler, president of Embry-Riddle.
“We are honoured to extend our successful, long-term relationships with Textron Aviation and Diamond Aircraft Industries to replenish the Embry-Riddle fleet, to provide our students with a highly effective and reliable training platform that will serve them well.”
The current ERAU fleet of more than 100 aircraft, shared between the two campuses at Daytona Beach and Prescott and contributing to 120,000 flight hours per year, make the flight-training operation equivalent to the size of a small regional airline.
Demand for the university’s programs has increased by 25 per cent in the last three years, which Butler attributed to a global pilot shortage, combined with the promise of high-paying careers.
This increase in demand is a primary motivating factor in the replenishment and probable expansion of the existing ERAU fleet, a rollout which is scheduled to be completed by September 2022.