Aviation Careers Institute

Registration Information and Timeline

Applications are now being accepted!

2024-25 Career Preparation Center Application 

Students can register for the program beginning December 18, 2023, through their counselor/Career Development Coordinator or their normal enrollment process. Students will be notified of program enrollment in early spring. If there are more students interested than seats available, students will be notified as such. Students may be added to a waiting list depending on demand.

Aviation Careers Institute 

The aviation industry is facing an unprecedented shortage of pilots, with an estimated 600,000 new pilots needed over the next 20 years. This great demand makes aviation a highly sought-after industry with great growth potential.

Eaton RESA, in partnership with the Capital Region International Airport, offers high school juniors and seniors in all school districts and academies in Eaton, Ingham, and Clinton counties the unique opportunity to learn about careers in aviation, take part in classroom lessons, and utilize flight simulators to learn the basics of flight, plane management and ground school. In addition, as school districts are not permitted to provide air flight instruction, students will be connected to flight school partners if they choose to begin flying lessons and work toward earning a pilot’s license. A specialized loan program partnership with MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) has been developed for students in this program to assist with costs associated with flight lessons.

Similar to all certified Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, students will attend a two-hour block of classroom time in the morning or afternoon as part of their full school day.

Classroom instruction, simulator seat time and all necessary classroom materials for the program will be included as part of the Eaton RESA Aviation Careers Institute (ACI) program. If a student chooses to pursue a pilot’s license, and the flight lessons required to earn it, all flight time and associated costs are the responsibility of the student.

PDF DocumentFAQ about the ACI and flight training


Class Location and Transportation

ACI classes will be held at the Capital Region International Airport. Parking is free. Transportation is provided for Eaton RESA students. Students participating outside of Eaton RESA should contact their school to determine transportation arrangements.

Becoming a Licensed Pilot

The ACI is designed to give students a firsthand look at the aviation industry, explore career opportunities and begin education and training to become a pilot or other aviation industry professional.

School districts are not permitted to provide air flight instruction. Students will be connected to flight school partners if they choose to begin flying lessons and work toward earning a pilot’s license. Students are responsible for all costs associated with air flight instruction and flight time.

To become a licensed commercial pilot, individuals move through various levels and certifications earning flight time and ratings.

PDF DocumentEstimated flight time and instructional costs

Program Funding and Loan Opportunities

All classroom costs, necessary classroom materials, and flight simulator training will be provided to students at no cost to students or families as part of the Eaton RESA ACI program.

To fly a plane, students must accumulate a certain number of flight hours. Flight time is not a covered cost. To help students continue to pursue their dreams of becoming a pilot, MSUFCU has partnered with the ACI to offer students in the program opportunities to secure low-cost student loans. Through the Student Success Loan option, students can apply for student loans as they progress through different phases of their flight school training. Students who are interested in loan options will be connected with MSUFCU for more information.