Paula Williams: Fantastic. We did have one other question and I’m not sure if we want to do that now or later. You can tell me, Dave. Do you have a take on MPL implementation?
David Santo: MPL is not something that we’re currently involved with at AeroStar. We know that the industry outside of the United States is looking at this multi-crew pilot license solution. It is currently available in a few places in the world. We think there’s a better solution. I think what we would say is if you complete all your licenses and you complete a type rating program, you’re going to be pretty much at the 350 hours that the MPL license gets you to and you’re going to have all of your ratings, it’s all transferable, and it’s all licensed. If you go to an MPL program right now, you really don’t get the licenses, you get a certificate that allows you to operate for the airline. We would argue that it’s better just to do the licenses but we certainly think that there’s a better way to modernize how we do pilot training and our solution for that is to combine the multi-crew, the ATP CTP during the time building phase of the commercial license. It reduces cost, increase the quality of the training, gets the students more multi-time and it would get them to type rating at the same time they’re doing their CPL.
John Williams: Hey, Dave, there’s a follow on to a previous question. They want to know if the cost you quoted includes the check ride or is it just requirements to complete.
Paula Williams: That was regarding the ATP CTP I believe.
David Santo: It’s the tuition for the entire ATP CTP course which is that 30 hours of ground school. Our course is a little bit longer than that, by the way, and it includes the 10 hours of FTD and full flight simulator time, and the instructors and materials. It does not include actually taking the written test. AeroStar is not a written test center but we certainly have affiliates around our facilities that are for the laser testing or the CATS testing centers that we would send the students over to.
Paula Williams: Makes sense. I know we have a lot of other questions that are being asked in and not asked specifically about different cost and things like that. I don’t know if there is a … if you want to answer this in general or if there’s a place that you can direct people to.
John Williams: Before you … as a lead in to the question on the screen, there was a question that came in that says can you walk us through what a trainee would expect once he signs up with you guys.
David Santo: Okay, well, that’s a very good question. Let me see if I can answer two birds with one stone. An ab initio scenario that we have been working with Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona basically is a program where the student would not be enrolled as a college student. This is purely an ab initio program. They would live on campus and they would do their private instrument, multiengine commercial and a 737 or a320 type rating. That course would include room and board on campus, no transportation requirements because their runway is right next to the dormitories, and it is a school that offers English immersion training. You could do the entire program with room and board and everything right around the $80,000 level that’s including the type rating. When you figure a type rating course right now is retailing for about $13,500, you’re talking about a program that when you compare it to other ab initios that don’t offer a type to get the zero time all the way through the commercial multiengine instrument and include room and board for a year, that’s a very, very competitive price. Now, our piece, our piece of the puzzle is to deliver the type rating course or the ATP CTP or jet transition or any of the programs that we teach. When we deliver a course like our standard type rating course, the students come to ground school for nine days, four of those days they’re on self-guided CBT labs. Five of those days they’re with a standup instructor who uses a myriad of different lecture and facilitator techniques to involve the students in the education process. After the ground school and they take a written examination to validate that their knowledge is where it needs to be, they go into one four-hour FTD session. That’s a non-motion, non-visual simulator. Then they do five four-hour full flight simulator sessions including a line-oriented flight which is basically simulating an actual line flight between two … departure and destination airport. Ultimately, the conclusion of the entire program is a check ride administered by the FAA or one of our in-house TCEs that provides the practical examination under the ATP CTPs. We issue them a new license with a type rating and if they meet all the requirements we can also issue at that time the ATP certificate itself. So, you can get a A320 recurrent ATP CTP, or a b737 recurrent ATP CTP.
Paula Williams: Fantastic, that’s a nice detailed answer to hopefully …
John Williams: All questions.
Paula Williams: All parts of that question. Great, exactly. Let’s carry on with the next one. How can flight schools attract more students? I know this is a problem for a lot of flight schools coming out of what was a slow period and I know a lot of them are starting to get a few more students in the door but depending on where you are in the country, this is still a problem.
David Santo: We see this is a multifaceted problem. First of all, and I’m guilty of this too when we started AeroStar, we had the concept, if we build it they would come. When we built it and opened the doors, we were shocked and surprised that people weren’t lined up around the street to enroll in our programs because nobody knew who we were, they didn’t know we existed. One thing that flight schools should really look at is their marketing, their branding, how they’re getting their message out there, and I think that’s a plug for you guys, Paula, at ABCI because I think internet-based marketing to the global market is the way to go. We see our opportunity working with the Flight School as making yourselves even more attractive. You might have the best Flight School in the world but how can you make it better? Are you offering your students the option to complete the ATP CTP? Are you offering your students the option to get advanced jet flight simulation training or type ratings? If you’re not, that’s where we think we can bolster your offering catalogue by adding classes that you don’t have to spend the money in doing your own certification, research and development. We’re turnkey. We formalize an agreement. You advertise and market us as part of you and you’re out there really attracting students who maybe want that extra program and then you package that into your pricing structure.
Paula Williams: That makes perfect sense. It’s like what we call a white level service. As far as the student knows he’s working with Cochise College or FIT, or Sun State Aviation and the student may not know or care or want to know about FIT or any other partners or anything like that, or sorry, about AeroStar. They just see the school that they initially entered in agreement with, is that correct?
David Santo: That is absolutely correct and we really do see ourselves as a subcontractor so we’re not out there trying to beat the AeroStar drum, we’re trying to beat the we’re a sub-service to the larger pipeline which is the Flight School itself. We just want to be there at the end to help you provide that finishing school, that graduate school piece which is the type rating ride. How you market it, package it, present it, it is really up to the individual school. We want to support whatever the school thinks is the best approach for their individual marketing efforts. I will say that with FIT, for example, one of the things that we did early on with FIT was FIT actually got our programs approved for academic credit so that students could attend a type rating course or a flight deck observation program and receive college credit for it, number one, and therefore, they could apply student aid, financial aid to help offset some of the cost of these programs.
Paula Williams: Right, that makes perfect sense. The other side of that I think is that affiliating with AeroStar is to the advantage of flight schools because of AeroStar’s reputation. As you’ve mentioned you’ve been in business for six years, a lot of the other providers in the market maybe don’t have the reputation that you do for quality of training and things like that. It’s like a Gulfstream with a Rolls Royce engine. You do want to have the best components in your system and AeroStar is a really good engine to have under the hood for those students that do want to look at the details.
David Santo: I’ll say this, Paula. Our students have given us very positive feedback. The quality of the training that the students who have come to our type rating courses really has been very, very positive and that means a lot to us. Now, I’m not going to say that we don’t occasionally have people that run into training issues because every Flight School does. In fact, if you have a Flight School that doesn’t have some kind of training issues, they’re probably selling the license and not selling the training.
Paula Williams: True.