Redbird Flight (Redbird) released the results of its fourth annual State of Flight Training Survey at the 2024 Redbird Migration Flight Training Conference. The report offers insights into how stakeholders – from prospective students to flight school owners and designated pilot examiners – responded to questions about their motivations, aspirations, challenges, tools, activities, and results related to flight training.

The report covers key market dynamics, emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities shaping flight training, allowing industry professionals, advocacy groups, policymakers, and the general public to better understand and improve the health of the industry.

“We are excited to offer our latest report for free to the flight training community,” said Redbird VP of Marketing Josh Harnagel. “Since its launch in 2020, the report has become an essential resource for individuals and organizations wanting to make strategic decisions about their careers, businesses, and capital allocation based on years of industry data and analysis. We are grateful for the strong participation in the survey – up 57% from last year – and encouraged by industry stakeholders harnessing its insights to create a better future for aviation.”

Key highlights of the report include the following:

While, for the most part, the median time for a learner to complete a certificate or rating has decreased over the past four years, the median cost to achieve a certificate or rating has increased. For instance, the median time to complete a private pilot certificate decreased from 30 weeks in 2020 to 24 weeks in 2023. Yet the median cost increased from $9,000 to $14,000 over the same period.

Larger flight training providers consistently report better business results than smaller providers. In 2023, independent CFIs rated their business outcomes as 3.2 on a scale of one to five. Large flight training organizations (FTOs) rated their outcomes as 4.6.

Learners and pilots are more likely to value flight simulation in ab into training than are flight training providers, a trend that has persisted all four years of the survey.

The full report can be accessed on Redbird’s website.

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