U.S.-based Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which has been educating pilots since 1926 and calls itself the world´s top school of its kind, plans to open a new campus in Brazil at some time in the future and already has worked to set up a business office in the country, marking its return to South America after 72 years.
Fabio Campos, university liaison to Brazil, said during a phone interview from the country that this year, the university opened an office in the Sao Paulo area, with the intention of coordinating existing projects and eventually setting up a campus in the country.
Embry-Riddle currently has two main campuses in the U.S., one in Daytona Beach, Florida, and another in Prescott, Arizona. The university has in recent years worked on expanding its education services elsewhere and is targeting Asia, Europe and Latin America, starting with Brazil.
“Embry-Riddle was already in Brazil from 1943 to 1946 as part of a joint effort” involving the Brazilian air force, which urgently needed to train several thousand people to fill the need for air-traffic controllers, technicians and pilots, among other jobs, Campos said.
There has not yet been any date set for the opening of the campus, Campos said.
The need for qualified engineers, pilots and air-traffic controllers nowadays is very great in Brazil, where the aviation industry expanded 194 percent during the last decade and is set to become the world´s third biggest by 2017, Campos said.
Embry-Riddle is now “in the process of incorporating in the country and will open an office to run all the operations in the country,” Campos said.
“The goal in the future is to have a committed campus" not only for recruitment, but also for business development, Campos said.
The company already is working to develop partnerships, including joint educational programs, such as one that will bring university professors to the southern city of Porto Alegre.
Embry-Riddle also wants to work across the industry -- “with airlines, airports” -- and also to offer training to Brazilian government employees, Campos said.
“All this will converge in the future into having a campus” in Brazil, Campos said. Brazil was chosen to spearhead the entry into Latin America, as the company has roots there going back 70 years, Campos said.
Embry-Riddle is not just a pilot training school, as it has five different colleges that include education in engineering and business, Campos said.
Brazil is also attractive, as it is home to Embraer, the world´s third-largest airplane manufacturer. Embry-Riddle and Embraer already have worked together in the U.S., Campos said. Embraer has a large facility in Melbourne, Florida, south of the university´s Florida campus.