Delta Airlines is combating the pilot shortage head-on. They're partnering with colleges to help fast-track students, looking to break into the field. Middle Tennessee State University is one of the schools now ready for take-off.
"Most pilots have to work regional carrier jobs and fly for regional first for several years before being even qualified to interview with Delta," said Tyler Babb, professional pilot coordinator at MTSU Aerospace.
"This [program] is new. This is all brand new. They're very much venturing into unknown waters," he said.
Delta' s "Propel Pilot Career Path Program" chose MTSU and eight other colleges to try out the new idea.
"If a pilot is a Junior in our program and they get accepted into the program, then they can get a 42-month path after graduation to be hired by Delta," he said.
The program comes at a time when pilots are in high demand both in the U.S. and internationally.
"It's an excellent time to be getting into the industry right now," Babb said.