Recognizing how important it is to communicate with flight schools, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is bringing back its newsletter, Flight School Business. The newsletter will be part of the AOPA-led industry-wide Flight Training Student Retention Initiative, which is intended to find ways to reverse a student pilot drop-out rate as high as 80%.
“While we’ve talked to some flight schools with above-average completion rates, many are losing more students than they’d like,” said Jennifer Storm, AOPA’s director of flight training initiatives. “With Flight School Business, we can share what’s working and what’s not.”
Extensive research done to identify focus areas for the initiative found that the quality of training is a major factor in a student pilot’s experience and successfulness. Another major factor is value for money. Student pilots recognize that flight training is not inexpensive but want to know that they’re getting good value for the money they spend.
“Starting March 1, Flight School Business will be distributed free of charge as a biweekly electronic newsletter,” said Ian Twombly, deputy editor for AOPA Publications. “It will give schools and instructors ideas and information to help their students succeed and ultimately earn a pilot certificate.”
“Some of the topics we’ll cover include marketing and sales strategies, news, products and services, student retention tactics, training, staffing and other human resource issues, and insurance, legal, and financial subjects. In addition, we’ll host Flight School Business events at Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., in March; EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., in July; and the AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, Conn., in September.”
Any flight school listed in the AOPA Airports online directory will automatically receive Flight School Business. Beginning March 1, others, including schools not listed and individual instructors, can subscribe by visiting the Flight School Business page on AOPA Online.
“Improving student pilot retention is an important way to address the declining pilot population,” concluded Storm. “But getting new students in the door and bringing pilots back for additional training and rental also are part of the equation. Flight School Business will provide information, resources, and best practices that flight school managers can use to help their business grow.”