2021 Auburn University PSA

State-of-the-art Delta training facility helping Auburn Aviation reach new heights
Two students using a flight simulatoro

A special partnership with Delta Air Lines and state-of-the-art technology continues to help Auburn Aviation reach new heights as a national leader in the training of pilots.

In 2017, Delta Air Lines, the Delta Air Lines Foundation and the Jacobson Family Foundation granted $6.2 million to support multiple programs at Auburn, including the funding of construction of the Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building, which opened in November 2018 and began hosting classes in 2019. The partnership also supported the purchase of an aircraft simulator and create endowed faculty professorships within the Department of Aviation, home of one of the longest standing public flight programs in the country.

The 23,000-square-foot facility was designed exclusively for aviation education at Auburn University, with enhanced classrooms, debriefing rooms for student pilots and flight simulators. The crown jewel of those simulators is the Airbus 320 commercial airline simulator, an elite piece of pilot training technology put into action last spring that has helped train more than 75 students on everything from takeoffs and landings to mitigating potential crises that may develop during flights and mastering the cockpit’s intricate instrumentation system.

“Delta has been a great partner of Auburn Aviation, and the addition of the training facility two short years ago has helped us grow our enrollment numbers to more than 600,” said Auburn Department of Aviation Chair James Witte, a U.S. Army veteran with more than 60 years of flying experience. “Our flight simulation bay, highlighted by the Airbus sim, puts Auburn in rarified air as one of the leading collegiate programs anywhere in the country, and we are turning out qualified and dedicated professional flight and aviation management graduates who will be the future of the airline industry.”

In addition, Delta in 2018 selected Auburn as one of eight colleges to launch its Delta Propel Pilot Career Path Program, an initiative designed to help identify, select and develop the next generation of pilots. Each student selected for the program is matched with a Delta pilot as a mentor, and the students will receive a qualified job offer from Delta, detailing a defined path and an accelerated timeline to become a Delta pilot.

The Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building is crucial in the development of the pilots of tomorrow. As a result of the university’s thriving aviation program and the support of partners like Delta, Auburn’s graduates leave the Plains with nearly a 100-percent job placement rate, primed and ready for successful careers in the airline industry.