The Air Force JROTC Flight Academy, Chief of Staff Private Pilot Scholarship program, is a collaborative effort between the aerospace industry and the Air Force to address a national pilot shortage. The Flight Academy is intended to inspire and encourage high school youth toward aviation careers.
Currently, Boeing predicts an annual need to hire 6,000 civilian pilots a year for the next 20 years. Military needs quickly push that number over 8,000. According to industry and military leadership, the nation is facing a pilot shortage “crisis."
In 2018, Air Force Junior ROTC awarded scholarships to 120 students, who are now scheduled to attend a flight school this Summer at one of six partnering universities. While AFJROTC’s primary mission is to develop citizens of character, these high school students will earn their private pilot’s license and up to 12 college credits. The programs will run approximately six to eight weeks and starts mid-to late May.
The Flight Academy also addresses a secondary national issue of diversity. Aviation is one of the least diverse professions in industry. Currently, women make up less than 6% of pilots and minorities represent less than 10%. AFJROTC currently has 120,000 cadets enrolled in high schools across the nation and is the Air Force’s most diverse program. Minorities represent 58% of the AFJROTC student body and females make up 40%. Selected cadets for the flight academy represented female and minorities more than three times the national averages.
The Air Force has committed to funding the program for 250 students in 2019 and 500 in 2020.
Current partnering universities are:
Auburn University, AL
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL
Kansas State University Polytechnic, KS
Liberty University, VA
Purdue University, IN
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
15 Oct to 7 Dec 18: Cadets begin application process
09 Oct to 9 Nov 18: Complete Aviation Qualifying Test (AQT)
09 Nov 18: Sophomore cadet application suspense to HQ
16 Nov 18: Junior cadet application suspense to HQ
07 Dec 18: Senior cadet application suspense to HQ
07 to 11 Jan 19: Selection board convenes at HQ AFJROTC
14 Jan 19: Notify Primary and Alternate cadets
15 Jan to 28 Feb 19: FAA Class I Flight Physical must be completed
01 to 29 Mar 19: Cadets matched to universities
Jun to Aug 2019: 2019 Summer Flight Academies in session
**Individual cadet program start dates will vary**