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AIMS Community College's Affordable Aviation Programs

AIMS Community College: An Affordable Pathway To GA And Professional Aviation

AIMS Community College located in Northern Colorado offers non-aviation programs, but also lends focus to the ‘General Aviation Pilot’ program, which is structured to get you your Private, Commercial, instrument rating, and an associate degree.

 The option exists to become a flight instructor, and if desired, students may pursue a ‘Professional Pilot Associate degree, earning multiengine ratings in two years, and with additional hours transition to the commercial airline world. AIMS also offers an Air Traffic Controller track for those so inclined to pursue that line of work!

According to an AIMS CFI, she began her training at another facility, earning private and instrument ratings, then transferred to AIMS and finished up. In-state tuition was a huge help in her pilot journey, as is the fact that its a state-owned entity. 


We're told the “CFI rate is at least $46 per hour” which incentivizes her and others to remain with the program and provide consistency in training. Rates are subject to change, but presently, single-engine rental rates are approx. $149 per hour, and the multi-engine about $170 per hour. This is due in great part to the community college fees being subsidized by the government, making it one of the most affordable two-year colleges in Colorado!

Mr. Will Faulkner, Assistant Chief Flight Instructor reiterated they have a “fresh” fleet of 13 aircraft, with none older than 2017: 10 Piper Archers, 2 Piper Seminoles, and 1 Super Decathlon. Some 70% of their pilot graduates go off to the airlines, and the remainder to General Aviation. Mr. Faulkner stated that they conduct tailwheel endorsements and spin training in the Super Decathlon. In terms of how those at the AIMS booth got their start, they mostly fell into it, realized they enjoyed it, and then just kept going. Plus, it certainly helps that the pay is better than average! 

We asked Mr. Faulkner about Piper Aircraft’s announcement regarding the eArcher….an electric version of the venerable Piper Archer training aircraft that has an endurance of about 1 hour, and if they saw AIMS Community College moving to that, he added “that’s a discussion for the future. Once it proves its reliability and viability, we’ll certainly investigate it. We’re not ruling it out”.

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