Indiana State University Newsroom

Aviation program’s popularity affects its fees

February 24, 2017

More Sycamores are spending time in the sky, which has prompted a minor fee increase approved by the Indiana State University Board of Trustees on Friday, Feb. 24.

Approaching its fifth year this fall, the university's flight academy has seen continual growth in the enrollment of professional flight students. As a result, the mostly fee-funded academy's cost of doing business -- a higher volume of unscheduled maintenance, for instance -- is greater.

"Demand for pilots is very strong, and we expect that to continue in the future," said Provost Mike Licari. "I am proud of the ISU Flight Academy's strong reputation for producing high-quality pilots."

Increased financial support is also necessary for upgrades to be "Next Generation" compliant by 2020, along with costs associated with implementing and operating the TALON SMART safety management systems.

The change reflects an overall increase of 2 percent, effective this fall. These fees are non-refundable, unless a student drops the course for the certification or withdraws from the university. In these instances, unused flight fee income is refunded based on flying time logged.

The airline industry is faced with a greater demand for pilots than ever before, said Stephen McCaskey, assistant professor and interim chair of the department of aviation technology. Many regional airlines have taken extra measures to recruit new pilots by interacting and providing pathway programs and incentives to universities and flight schools.

"We now have agreements with Republic Airways, Trans States Airlines and Express Jet and we have graduates that have been employed by many freight and airline companies," McCaskey said.

The bachelor's degree program requires mandatory certification for private pilot, instrument, commercial and multi-engine.

"Our Flight Academy has demonstrated a high level of professionalism and has become FAA certificated as a CFR 141 Flight School and is also a FAA authorized university for providing the Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) certificate eligibility to graduates once they reach the required flight time," McCaskey said. "Due to the strict FAA curriculum and flight requirements, this enables our graduates to become eligible for an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate when they reach 1,000 hours of total time, rather than 1,500 hours total time as required by the FAA."

Trustees also approved course-specific academic laboratory fees effective with the fall semester.

In other action, trustees:

• Approved a schedule of board meetings for the 2017-18 term, including June 23, Aug. 30-31 (board evaluation of the president), Oct. 20, Dec. 15, Feb. 22-23, 2018, and May 11, 2018.

• Approved minor increases to parking permit fees (ranging from $2 to $7 per year over the 2016-17 rates), effective for the 2017-18 term. Daily and department guest permit rates, garage event fee, specialty and monthly permit fees remain unchanged.

• Approved changes to the University Handbook.

• Approved changes to policies regarding faculty appointment and tenure and hiring procedures for regular faculty, which were previously approved by the Faculty Senate.


Media contact: Libby Roerig, director of communications and media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or