Republic Airways has announced that it will open a new aviation training school based at Indianapolis International Airport, saying it is opening the new school to  “make a career as a commercial pilot more accessible to all by reducing the high cost of flight training, encouraging greater pilot diversity and raising awareness of the need for a greater supply of pilots.”

Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy has already begun recruiting students, with the first class beginning September 2018. The airline says its new school will combine flight, flight simulator, online and in-classroom training in a structured education environment.

Republic Airways has also said that they will form a long term partnership with Vincennes University in 2019. Vincennes students will complete flight training at LIFT and LIFT students will have the option of completing an associated degree online with Vincennes University.

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LIFT students will train in the Diamond DA40 single-engine trainer and Diamond DA42 twin-engine training airplane. The school will also use flight simulators and flight training devices (FSTD) built by Diamond Aircraft.

The goal of LIFT is to provide high school graduates, military veterans and career changers a direct path to pilot employment with Republic Airways. Students that complete training at the LIFT Academy will have a guaranteed path to Republic when they complete the program.

Republic says that total tuition for the LIFT program will be $65,000, putting it below the cost of most flight training programs. In addition, Republic will offer scholarships and loan programs to qualified applicants.

Republic Airways says they are “taking a unique approach to addressing the growing pilot shortage by being the only regional airline to operate its own training academy specifically designed to create a direct-to-hire (classroom-to-cockpit) path for its students.”

The airline is joining the growing list of other programs offering creative pathways to pilot employment:


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About Greg Thomson

Greg started his professional pilot journey in 2002 after graduating from Embry Riddle. Since that time he has accumulated over 7,000 hours working as a pilot. Greg’s professional experience includes flight instructing, animal tracking, backcountry flying, forest firefighting, passenger charter, part 135 cargo, and flying for a regional airline. Greg took a 5 year hiatus from flying and worked in software development and marketing. He has since returned to flying as a cargo pilot. Greg enjoys educating and helping pilots improve their professional lives and is passionate about applying technology and new methods to help with traditional challenges.