AOPA is hosting a number of meetings in Chicago, Long Beach and Dallas as part of their Flight Training Student Retention Initiative. The meetings, which began in May, are intended to integrate the frontline practitioners, such as flight instructors and flight school owners, and the aviation community at large into the process of increasing student retention and success rates. The meetings consist of a presentation on the AOPA initiative followed by small group discussions that are the meat and potatoes of these meetings.
The meeting locations, which were chosen based on flight school density, will host two meetings in order to maximize participation. One meeting is intended to allow flight training providers, such as flight instructors, to offer their insights into how AOPA can help them succeed in growing the pilot population. The other is for members of the aviation community at large. The two meetings work hand-in-hand to gather perspectives from both sides of the flight training equation, instructor and student.
According to reports, AOPA estimates that nearly three in four people who start flight training do not complete their training and earn a pilot certificate. With an overall population in a state of decay, it is important to develop new pilots. These meetings will hopefully impart the AOPA initiative with the right stuff to sort out this completion issue.