JetBlue has launched its eighth Gateway development program, Gateway Rotor Transition Program (RTP), for U.S. military-trained rotary wing aviators to transition their existing expertise as helicopter pilots and acquire the necessary skills and certifications needed to join JetBlue as a first officer. Accepted candidates will receive a conditional job offer prior to beginning their focused Rotor Transition Program. After completing all regulatory FAA requirements and syllabus of both flight lessons and ground school developed for Gateway RTP, candidates will proceed directly to JetBlue as a first officer new hire trainee.

JetBlue has partnered with SkyWarrior Flight Training LLC in Pensacola, Florida, to offer this customized training program where, in addition to SkyWarrior’s commercial, instrument, multi-engine and Air Transport Pilot training, pilots will be immersed into JetBlue procedures, philosophy and operations from JetBlue pilots with prior military rotary wing experience as well as current instructors and mentors from the airline.

With this announcement, JetBlue seeks to immediately fill a limited number of spots in the first Gateway RTP class to start in fall 2023. The airline looks forward to scaling the program in the future, bringing more skilled veterans to JetBlue. Interested applicants can learn more about Gateway RTP and apply at JetBlue’s website.

Gateway RTP optimizes training by offering early exposure to Part 121 aviation concepts and philosophy along with integrated full-motion simulator training. The program also takes concepts the candidates are well-versed in, like crew resource management and threat and error management, and helps focus on how they apply in commercial airline operations through customized progression modules. Through their training, successful pilots will complete foundational training, earning their fixed wing Private Pilot through Commercial Multi-Engine Certificate before attending Jet Transition training at JetBlue University and ATP/CTP course completion.

“We started our first RTP program in 2017 and it is just unbelievable to see so many of our former students living their dream as professional airline pilots,” said Gregory Sigler, vice president, SkyWarrior Flight Training LLC. “These former service members and their families have sacrificed so much, it is just an honor to be the vehicle that propels them to the next step in their aviation journey.”

With approximately 500 active participants across its Gateways and more than 10% of the airline’s new pilot hires in 2023 expected to come from one of the Gateways, the potential for growth is extremely high. JetBlue has shown that by casting a wider net and taking steps to remove the unnecessary barriers to entry, it can meet the growing need for aviation professionals while also opening the door to more candidates from underrepresented communities, including women and people of color.