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Why Hillsboro Aero Academy?

More than a flight school. A family.

We became a flight school of choice for aspiring global aviators because we recognize that each student is on a personal journey toward a career in flight.

Where one-size-fits-all flight academies see a name on a roster, we see an individual pursuing their own path to success. Our commitment is to individualized paths for each aspiring aviator, ensuring a personal touch in our training approach.

10 Things to Look for in a Flight School

If you’ve been comparing flight schools, you might find them hard to tell apart. But when you understand what to look for, important differences start to emerge. Consider these factors:

HAA is unique among flight schools in holding both Title IV certification and ACCSC accreditation, demonstrating that the school is held to the same high academic standards as colleges and universities. Our Title IV status can also mean access to expanded student financing and loan deferral options.

All flight schools in the US must be FAA-approved, but international certifications signify a truly global flight school, making it possible for our students to embark on global careers. Our Joint EASA/FAA programs for both helicopter and airline students prepare students to fly almost anywhere in the world.

Most US flight schools can only offer international students the M-1 visa, which requires the student to return home upon completion of their training. With our F-1 visa program, students can add up to 23 months of work authorization to their training, typically allowing them to build the hours employers require as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).

Flight schools in sunny climates often rely on simulators to teach instrument flying. But the best pilots have built flight hours mastering the kinds of challenging weather conditions, diverse geographical features, and urban/rural mix that the Pacific Northwest can offer – not to mention the stunning beauty of the landscape we call home.

A flight school’s professional partnerships – its relationships with airlines, helicopter operators and other aviation industry employers – are critical to its students’ ability to gain employment at the completion of their training. See below for just some of the industry players that we’re proud to call partners.

Helicopter Flight Training

Completing your flight training through a two-year or four-year college degree program has many benefits beyond the value of the degree itself: It can deepen your aeronautical education, making you a better pilot, and give you broader eligibility for financial aid. We partner with multiple college degree programs, including Portland Community College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Liberty University, Multnomah University, and Purdue University.

Every flight school will tell you that safety is their highest priority. So how can you know for sure? Look for the prestigious IS-BAO (International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations) certification, the recognized standard for aviation safety. HAA is both the first flight school to achieve this certification and the only school holding Stage 3, the highest level of safety management.

While the right flight school training is an excellent long-term investment with well-defined, high-paying career paths, there is no question that the upfront investment is significant. Training at HAA can offer cost savings in a couple of key areas: 1) there is no sales tax in Oregon, where our three campuses are located, and 2) our international certifications can reduce the time and expense of license conversion in order to fly in other countries.

U.S. military veterans can use their GI Bill® benefits directly at HAA. With veterans on our staff, we are privileged to have deep ties to the veteran community, many of whom join us  for their flight training through the G.I. Bill.

Commercial flight training is a big financial commitment, and payment flexibility is often key. When applying to flight schools, pay close attention to the payment terms: many require students to pay a portion of their tuition upfront, before training can begin. We require no upfront deposit; students pay at the completion of each flight lesson. Airplane students do pay for each ground school in advance.

Industry Partners

Collegiate Partners

Portland Community College

Questions about our flight school?

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Viviane SanderFirst Officer – A320Azul Airlines

I am grateful for the incredible flying experiences I had while training with Hillsboro Aero Academy. These experiences have become invaluable to me, especially now as I navigate the challenges of flying with a major airline in Brazil. Looking back, I realize the significance of the rigorous standardization, IFR expertise, exposure to busy ATC environments, and comprehensive training that was ingrained in me during my time at HAA. These skills have not only shaped my abilities as a pilot but have also equipped me to handle diverse and demanding situations in the aviation industry.