AOPA launches effort to boost flight training excellence

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Craig L. Fuller recently unveiled a new initiative designed to encourage best practices and recognize flight training providers who put those practices to work every day through the AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards.

The awards will be given annually to flight schools and individual flight training professionals. They are based on AOPA’s flight training student retention research that identified 47 distinct elements that contribute to an optimal flight training experience broken down into four main categories: educational quality; customer focus; community; and information sharing, AOPA officials explain.

AOPA hired a professional research group to conduct a year-long study that provided insight into what helps students complete their training and earn a certificate. The association also held in-depth conversations with training providers across the country, officials said.

“Between the research study and our conversations, we know a lot about what works when it comes to training, which will allow for positive change,” said Fuller. “If you are familiar with a flight training program that you believe offers a model for success, we invite you to nominate that program by going online and providing answers to the questions we pose.”

Nominations are being accepted online. “The information will be viewed by a panel of judges assembled by Flight Training magazine,” said Fuller. “Those who go online and provide a nomination will receive a specially designed AOPA Flight Training Excellence Awards challenge coin that we hope you will display and share with others.“

Multiple winners of this award will be announced at AOPA’s Aviation Summit in Palm Springs this October. “These efforts will take time, but I believe they will make a difference with your help. When people choose to focus on the most successful and positive practices in any kind of endeavor, things improve,” said Fuller.

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