Virginia Aviation Pathways
The aviation industry is an integral part of the U.S. economy. Boeing’s 2022 Pilot and Technician Outlook projects 602,000 new pilots and 610,000 new technicians needed to fly and maintain the global commercial aviation fleet during the next 20 years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook, Commercial Pilots earn an average of $148,900 per year and about 18,100 openings for commercial pilots are projected each year, on average, over the next decade. Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians earn an average of $70,7400 per year and about 13,100 openings are projected each year, on average, over the next decade.
420 West Main St., Danville, VA 24541 (434) 791-5600
~120 credit hours
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Management with two concentration options: Aviation Business or Flight Operations
FAA Certified Part 141 Flight School
10640 Davidson Place, Manassas, Virginia 20109, (703) 257-5515
2329 E. Little Creek Road, Norfolk, Virginia 23518 (757) 363-2044
Aviation Maintenance Technician
~78-100 credit hours
Associate’s of Applied Science Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology, Associate’s of Occupational Science Degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology
One College Lane, Weyers Cave, Virginia 24486, (540) 234-9261
Aviation Maintenance Technician, Pilot
~40 credit hours
Aviation Maintenance Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree, Airframe Maintenance Certificate, Powerplant Maintenance Certificate, Light Sport Aircraft Mechanic Career Studies Certificate, Commercial Pilot
School of Engineering, Architecture and Aviation, Franklin W. Olin Engineering Building, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia 23668 (757) 728-6970
Bachelor of Science Aviation Management – Air Traffic Control, Bachelor of Science Aviation Management – Airport Administration, Aviation Minor
1971 University Blvd, Lynchburg, VA 24515, (434) 582-2000
Aviation Maintenance Technician, Pilot
~45-125 credit hours
Aviation Maintenance Technician Certification – FAA A&P Certificate Program, A.A. in Aviation Maintenance Technology, B.S. in Aviation Maintenance: Management, B.S. in Aviation Maintenance: Unmanned Aerial Systems, B.S. in Aviation Maintenance Management (online degree), B.S. in Aviation Technology: Flight and Maintenance
Reagan National Airport, Hangar #2
2801 Thomas Avenue, Hangar #2
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Washington, DC 20001 (202) 274-5000
Aviation Maintenance Technician
~48-78 credit hours
Aircraft Mechanic’s Certification, Aviation Maintenance Technology Associate’s Degree
The Virginia Space Grant Consortium manages two national higher education programs for the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP). ACRP is an industry-driven, applied research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to airport challenges. ACRP is authorized by Congress, sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, and managed by the Transportation Research Board.
The University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs challenges individuals and teams of undergraduate and/or graduate students working with faculty advisors at U.S. colleges and universities to consider innovative approaches related to airport issues. Students can win cash prizes for their winning innovative design solutions. First-place winners present their work at a national award ceremony and at a relevant national conference. Full details are provided in the Competition guidelines.
The Graduate Research Award program funds applied research undertaken by graduate students on airport and related aviation system issues. Awardees receive a $12,000 stipend, access to a panel of expert advisors in the chosen research area, an opportunity to present at the TRB Annual Meeting following the completion of their research paper, and the potential to publish that paper in the Transportation Research Record.
Choosing a Flight School
Pilot training is available on-site at most airports, either through an FAA-certificated (approved) pilot school (FAR Part 141) or through other training providers (FAR Part 61). An approved school may be able to provide a greater variety of training aids, dedicated facilities, and more flexibility in scheduling. Some colleges and universities also provide pilot training as a part of their curricula.
Enrollment in an FAA-approved pilot school usually ensures a high quality of training. Approved schools must meet prescribed standards for equipment, facilities, personnel, and curricula. However, individual flight instructors and training companies that are not certificated by the FAA as “pilot schools” may also offer high-quality training, but find it impractical to qualify for FAA certification.
Another difference between training provided by FAA-approved pilot schools and other providers is that fewer flight hours are required to be eligible for a pilot certificate when the training is received through an approved school. The flight hour requirement for a private pilot certificate is normally 40 hours but may be reduced to 35 hours when training with an approved school. However, since most people require 60 to 75 hours of training, this difference may be insignificant.
Accredited Virginia Flight Schools
The Virginia Department of Aviation maintains a list of accredited Virginia flight schools. You can also use the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Flight School Finder to search for Virginia Flight Schools and learn more about what each school has to offer.
There are 30 locations at regional airports across the Commonwealth where you can obtain a Private Pilots License:
~Several months to 1 year
Advanced ratings and certificates take additional time and tuition at flight schools or college/university aviation programs.
- The annual Charles J. Colgan Aviation & Aerospace Scholarship, in the amount of $2,000, is awarded to a well deserving Virginia resident High School, Technical School Senior or College/University Undergraduate who is pursuing an aviation related career at an accredited institution located in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- The Willard G. Plentl Sr. Aviation Scholarship is awarded in the amount of $2,500 to a Virginia High School senior who is planning an aviation career in a non-engineering area.
- The John R. Lillard Foundation Aviation Scholarship is awarded to a Virginia high school senior having at least a 3.50 unweighted GPA, are planning a career in the field of aviation, and must be enrolled or accepted into an aviation-related program at an accredited college.
- The Kenneth R. Scott Aviation Scholarship is awarded to a Virginia high school senior having at least a 3.50 unweighted GPA, are planning a career in the field of aviation, and must be enrolled or accepted into an aviation-related program at an accredited college.
- The Chad Weaver Aviation scholarship offers residents $800 to complete ground school, take flight lessons, or do both!
Scholarships are available to those
seeking their private pilot’s license
or their certified flight instructor’s
endorsement at any Virginia flight
Each year the Ninety-Nines award Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships to qualified members for five different scholarship types, including two specialized scholarships: an Emergency Maneuver Training Scholarship and an International Scholarship for pilots in developing countries.
Through the volunteer efforts of retired military aviators, as well as active commercial and recreational pilots, WASP is able to offer local high school teens the highest level of expertise and instruction in aviation. From retired F-22 and F-16 pilots to current legacy airline pilots, the level of instruction is unrivaled.