Brought To You By LSUA; Written by Eamon Halpin
In January 2022 Louisiana State University at Alexandria launched a Professional Aviation program designed to prepare students to become multi-engine commercial pilots and flight instructors.
The program includes 28 hours of flight and ground instruction courses. Upon successful completion of the courses, program students will have earned a Private Pilot Certificate, an Instrument Pilot Rating, a Commercial Pilot Certificate, and a Flight Instructor Certificate.
Students also have the option of taking three additional hours of flight instruction leading to Multi-Engine Flight, Multi- Engine Instrument, and Multi-Engine Flight Instructor ratings Students in the program take flight instruction with Gulf-Coast Aviation, an established flight school with many years of experience partnering with college aviation programs. The flight instruction is provided at Alexandria International Airport (AEX). All required aviation ground courses are offered on the LSUA campus.
The program also requires an additional 29 hours of aviation lecture courses that address topics such as Aviation Law, Air Carrier Operations, Aerodynamics, Human Factors in Aviation, Aviation Weather, and Aviation Safety.
Currently, 21 students are enrolled in the program. It is anticipated that 15 to 20 students will be added in each subsequent academic year.
The audience for the program includes local and regional high school graduates that meet the requirements for college admission; non-traditional students who are seeking a career change and are considering professional aviation as a viable option; and non-regional and out-of-state students who wish to wish to earn an aviation degree but who do not reside within driving distance of an institution that offers one.
LSUA considers that the development of the program is very opportune given the current acute demand for commercial pilots. The fact that the civil aviation industry is expected to require 602,000 new pilots over the next two decades means that students who enroll in LSUA’s professional aviation program can be assured of a return on their substantial financial investment in education and training.
Additional support and resources for the program, including the use of a state-of-the art flight simulator, have been provided by Aviation Career Education (ACE), a workforce development initiative undertaken by the England Airpark Authority.
*ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY 318CENTRAL.COM DURING A RECENT EVENT HELD BY THE LSUA AVIATION PROGRAM