Some would-be pilots who attend Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus will get help with their tuition and a job guarantee with a regional airline.

The school's Salina campus has partnered with Piedmont Airlines and its cadet program.

Piedmont's cadet program will provide those perks for select students enrolled in K-State's professional pilot program, a bachelor's degree program, who have their Certified Flight Instructor rating.

Piedmont officials will meet with prospective students for the cadet program on April 17.

Students accepted into the cadet program after an interview process can receive tuition reimbursement once they have completed 500 hours of flight time. They receive a financial incentive with every 100 hours of completed flight time after that, up to 1,000 hours.

At that 1,000-hours mark, students are eligible for graduation as well as their Airline Transport Pilot rating, and guaranteed a spot in Piedmont's next new hire training class, said Ben Jaffee, senior assistant chief flight instructor at K-State.

Jaffee said he's not aware of a cap on how many K-State students Piedmont will accept into the cadet program.

In a news release Thursday from K-State, Piedmont CEO Lyle Hogg said Piedmont pilots "upgrade very quickly and then transition to American Airlines." Piedmont is a subsidiary of American.

Jaffee said K-State Poly has a partnership similar to Piedmont's with Mesa Airlines, another regional airline.

And on the day Piedmont officials interview students for the cadet program, Jaffee said, the school will be announce a third regional airline partnership program.

The airline partnership programs come at the same time there is a shortage of pilots nationwide, driven in part by continued, growing demand for air travel, retirements and the transition of pilots from regional to major airlines.

Source: Wichita Eagle 04/02/2018