ATP General Locations

Hello all,

I am currently a full-time math instructor at the college and high school level, but have always had a dream of becoming a pilot. NEEDLESS to say, this year in secondary education was enough for me to be ready to actually follow my dream (teaching at the college level which I will miss dearly though).

I was just approved for a loan with Sallie Mae and have scheduled both my First Class Medical and Introductory Flight for the week of April 10th. I will completing the intro flight at TTN, but I have mainly been looking at schools in FL, TX and AZ. More specifically, the top schools I have been looking at are Tampa, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, Houston and Phoenix.

I came up with a mix of smaller and larger locations, with different weather conditions, costs of living compared to where I am currently in Philadelphia, and just general geographic regions. I am not a picky person, but am pretty practical in that I know what my goals are for the program. I realize that at the end of the day, the best location is where I say it is, but I have some gaps in program knowledge and general insights that can get me to that conclusion. I bulleted most of my questions below and appreciate any insight that you all may have:

  • Is there an ease of scheduling at smaller locations? More stringent timeslots at larger locations?
  • Does being at a maintenance center mean more aircraft? Or even if it means more aircraft, are less useable? Is the location being a maintenance center negligible?
  • Is it generally that the smaller the location, the more individualized you could make the program, whereas larger programs there is potential to just feel like a number? I don’t necessarily care about how individualized it is, merely that I am going to have consistency if that makes sense.
  • Does the amount of simulators at a location matter? I see that some have only 1 simulator where others have 2 or 4.
  • Does your location’s airport necessarily mean that the airspace you are working in is easier or harder to handle? Just general insight on this would help as I don’t think that necessarily will matter for me, but it has been a thought process of mine.
  • How badly does weather affect the program timeline? I narrowed down locations that aren’t typically bad weather cities, but some I guess have their seasons…
  • If you have any specific comments about the locations I am narrowed down to would be awesome too :slight_smile:

I don’t want to overload with questions, but I want to get as much out there as I can upfront! Any and all of your insights are appreciated!

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Lots of questions but the answer to most is this. ATP has locations nationwide and had been doing what they do for over 35yrs. The concept is to deliver a consistent product regardless of location and size (think McDonald’s). With that in mind I encourage you to not over think this. Choose a location that works best for you for any reason and know that whichever you choose you’ll have the exact same access to all ATPs resources. If a location requires more (or less) of something it will be taken care of in a very timely manner. Make sense?


Yes, makes sense. Appreciate your support!


Welcome to the forum. I will be honest here, you are really overthinking this. ATP has locations of all sizes, but the ratios remain the same. By that I mean the student to instructor ratio, aircraft to student ratio, simulator to student, etc. ATP has had different size locations for decades, but the program works the same at all of them. Along those lines, ATP only has locations at places with airspace that works for general aviation.

As for weather, every city has its bad months and its good months, it all averages out over the course of the program. If a location were particularly bad, ATP would not have a location there.

I appreciate that you have put all of this time and energy into picking a location, but I would focus that energy on beginning y9our studies and simply pick the location that is most convenient for you.


Thank you, Chris!

I was actually just accepted to United Aviate this morning. Does anyone know the general differences and/or pros/cons to either program?

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