News • February 01, 2022

Aviation science enters agreement with Horizon Air

Aviation science enters agreement with Horizon Air

Eric Braa, left, Horizon Air chief pilot, and Dr. John Marselus

Riverside, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2022) – The Department of Aviation Science at California Baptist University recently signed an agreement with Horizon Air for a pilot development program.

CBU students accepted into the program will receive conditional offers of employment, funding for part of their flight training, and the opportunity to transition from a minor to major airline—in this case Horizon Air to Alaska Airlines.

“This is a whole new era for the aviation department at CBU,” said Dr. John Marselus, chair of the Department of Aviation Science.

The agreement came about after CBU earned its Air Agency Certificate as a Part 141 school last year. To achieve this, CBU was required to have dedicated training facilities, flight instructor oversight, and FAA-approved course curriculum. With the certification, CBU applied and received restricted ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) approval, which allows college graduates to be employed by the airlines with 1,000 flight hours instead of 1,500 hours.

CBU has similar agreements with regional airlines, but the certificate and ATP approval allows CBU to talk to “the big boys,” Marselus said.

“These two areas opened us up to an entirely new future of airline agreements,” Marselus said. “Others look at us and realize ‘These guys are serious. They have a professional flight training program and it's been recognized by the FAA.’”

Students must complete their private pilot license flight training before applying for the program. Once accepted, students receive $5,000 after earning their instrument rating and $7,500 after earning their multi-commercial airplane license. Horizon will also provide mentors to help students prepare to be airline pilots.

CBU and Horizon Air are a natural fit, said Deja Hubbard, strategic sourcing and outreach manager for Alaska Airlines.

“CBU impressed us with their focus of owning safety, strong technical curriculum, dedication to students’ success, and commitment to a diverse flight deck,” Hubbard said. “Your aircraft fleet is immaculately maintained by high quality technicians. The leadership at the school is spectacular as well.  All of these reasons contribute to the selection of CBU.”

Nine students have already interviewed with Horizon to get into the program. Luke Ferrene, an aviation flight junior, said his goal is to become a commercial airline pilot.

“This program is the gateway to my dream job at Alaska Airlines because it allows me to train alongside pilots and mentors with Horizon and Alaska Airlines as well as get the support and help I need to become one of their first officers,” Ferrene said. “This program is hugely beneficial to aviation flight majors wanting to pursue a commercial career. It allows you early access to a future aviation career that many students don’t get to see.”

Lillian Turrill, an aviation flight junior, said her goal is to become a missionary pilot. Horizon would let her gain experience in the real world of aviation and build a financial foundation.

“The pilot development program is helpful to students in that it guarantees a job in the airlines as soon as we are qualified to enter,” Turrill said. “It also provides us with financial support during our training at CBU as well as additional training and experiences outside of CBU.”

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504