Funding for pilot training to those who qualify in the United States.

How much does it cost to become a pilot?

When deciding to become a commercial airline pilot, one of the most frequently asked questions is ‘how much does it cost to become a pilot?’. And it’s no surprise as to why. Your pilot license cost is a significant investment and financial commitment, however, the cost is reflective of several things, including:

  • Quality of training
  • Access to the latest cutting edge facilities
  • Job prospects
  • Future earning potential
  • Training by world-class flight instructors

You can find more about the benefits of becoming a pilot here.

How much it costs to become a pilot will depend on whether you’re looking to obtain your commercial pilot’s license or private pilot’s license.

For a commercial pilot’s license, you’re looking at a minimum cost of $83,995 (not including any additional costs). For a private pilot’s license, you’re looking at an estimated cost of $11,590.

L3Harris can help you achieve your dream of becoming an airline pilot whether you’re just finishing high school or thinking about a career change later in life. We are one of the USA’s leading providers of pilot training with a flight school based in Orlando, Florida at Sanford Int Airport. Our pilot training courses are designed to take you from no or little experience and equip you with the knowledge and flying hours you need to begin your pilot career.

Whilst the cost of flight school is important to consider, so are the additional fees such as:

  • Application fees
  • Books & supplies
  • Electronic training materials
  • Transportation
  • Accommodation
  • TSA fingerprinting
  • ID badge

The cost of becoming a pilot will vary from cadet-to-cadet based on fuel surcharges, over-flight charges from TCO, admission fees, books, supplies, TSA processing, visa application fees, and extensions.

How long does it take to become a pilot?

How long it takes to become a pilot varies depending on whether you’re looking to obtain your commercial airline pilot license or a private pilot license.

Our Professional Pilot Program, which is our flagship course to becoming a pilot is approximately 15-months (subject to handling). Cadets will graduate with a PPL certificate, instrument rating, commercial pilot single-engine, commercial multi-engine add-on rating, and a certified flight instructor certificate which will enable them to go on and build their flight hours to become a pilot.

Our Private Pilot License course, on the other hand, is approximately 40hrs of flight time (minimum). The program itself contains the necessary flight instruction, pre-and-post flight briefing, and recommended ground training to guide you through your private pilot training.

For specific course timelines, please explore our pilot training programs.

Professional Pilot Program Training Costs

Professional Pilot Program (PP) is our flagship program designed to help cadets who have an end goal of working as a commercial pilot for a regional or national airline. This course takes cadets from little to no flying experience to a certified flight instructor where you can build up the necessary flight hours to become a qualified pilot.

Professional Pilot Program Training Cost = $83,995

Here is the complete breakdown of the estimated pilot training costs:

Professional Pilot Program Price
Tuition (estimated)$83,995
Application fee$150
Books & supplies (estimated)$3,518
Electronic training materials (mandatory for all students)$1,482
Transportation$6,000
Accommodation$16,350
TSA AFSP Application (Non-U.S. citizens)$390 ($130 each for 3 courses)
TSA Fingerprinting (Non-U.S. citizens)$99 (one time)
ID badge (mandatory)$50 annual

All prices are estimated and based on the Training Course Outline (TCO) hours it takes a cadet to go through the various programs. All prices are subject to change. Each cadet's experience may vary and hours or costs may be different than what is quoted here. Prices include fuel and flight tests (unless the student pilot fails the exam, then additional flight test charges will apply). Prices do not include fuel surcharge, over-flight charges from TCO, admission fees, books, supplies, TSA processing, visa application fees, and extensions.

We are approved by the federal government to provide financial assistance for the Professional Pilot Program (PPP). Federal Financial Aid is student aid provided by the United States Department of Education that can cover up to 100% of the cost of flight training for those who qualify. Read on to learn more about Federal Financial Aid.

Airline Pilot Track Training Costs

Whether you want to be a commercial pilot or flight instructor, you will learn to fly and take your first flight as a pilot cadet with our Airline Pilot Track Course. This course will provide you with valuable experience to help you launch your pilot career.

Airline Pilot Track Training Cost = $83,995

Commercial Pilot Track Training Costs

Our Commercial Pilot Track program is designed to prepare cadets who are looking to become a commercial pilot but may not be interested in becoming a Flight Instructor. Cadets will graduate from this program with a Private Pilot’s certificate, Instrument Rating, and a Commercial Multi-Engine Certificate.

Commercial Pilot Training Cost = $66,995

Aviation College Degree Training Costs

If you want to go down the university route to become a pilot, we have partnerships with Seminole State College of Florida (SSC) and Jacksonville University for cadets to earn an Associate’s or Bachelor's Degree alongside your flight training.

You will be required to attend full-time training at our university partners Seminole State College of Florida (SSC) and Jacksonville University for 2-4 years (JU).

You will be awarded a Bachelor's Degree once you have completed your college degree training.

If you are interested in our college degree training, please contact us to discuss the pilot training costs.

Individual Course Pilot Training Costs

At L3Harris Flight Academy, we have a range of self-paced pilot training programs designed for individuals looking to obtain certificates, ratings, or recurrent training in both part 141 or part 61 training.

Part 141 training is a structured training method following a Training Course Outline (TRO) whilst Part 61 training is a flexible training method allowing cadets to pay-as-you-go and work following their schedule.

Individual Course Training Costs:

  • Private Pilot License cost: $11,590
  • Instrument Rating cost: Cost on inquiry
  • Commercial Single-engine Certificate cost: Cost on inquiry
  • Commercial Multi-engine Certificate cost: Cost on inquiry
  • Commercial Single-engine Additional Rating cost: Cost on inquiry
  • Commercial Multi-engine Additional Rating cost: Cost on inquiry
  • ATP Proficiency Check cost: Cost on inquiry
  • Flight Instructor Single-engine Certificate cost: Cost on inquiry
  • Flight Instructor Instrument Rating cost: Cost on inquiry
  • Flight Instructor Multi-engine Rating cost: Cost on inquiry

How to fund your pilot training

There are many ways to raise the funding need for your pilot training. We understand how daunting funding your training may first appear, as well as, the importance of investing in the right program to secure your dream role in aviation.

We offer a variety of financial aid options to cover your flight school costs. These are only available to those who qualify, in the form of scholarships, federal funding, and private loans.

Pilot Pathways Scholarships

With an L3Harris Pilot Pathways Scholarship cadets could receive up to $30,000 towards the cost of pilot training at our Florida Flight Academy. The Pilot Pathways Scholarships have been designed to help improve diversity of the flight deck by offering financial assistance to those that otherwise might not be able to follow their dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot.

The best thing about the Pilot Pathways Scholarships? Any funding awarded does not have to be paid back.

Our Aviation Scholarships include:

  • High School Senior Merit Scholarship
  • Veterans Scholarship
  • Diversity Scholarships
Aviation Scholarships

Flight School Loans & Grants

A personal loan or line of credit (subject to approval) could provide you access to the money you need to cover the cost of pilot training for you or your child.

Flight School Loans include:

  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program: Low-interest loans eligible for students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university.
  • Federal Direct Plus Loan - For Parents: Loans designed for parents to help pay for their children’s pilot training based on eligibility requirements.
  • Federal Pell Grants: Awarded only to undergraduate students who have not completed a bachelor's or professional degree.
Flight School Loans & Grants
Privately financing your pilot's license

Private finance is also a route to paying for pilot school when scholarships, loans, and grants are not available.

Our Financial Aid Officers can assist you in identifying and applying for the assistance that best suits your current situation and needs, including some of the private finance options listed below.

AOPA Flex Finance Loan

Payments can be made up to a maximum loan amount of $100,000 over a maximum repayment period of 7 years.

Vermont Advantage Student Loan

Residents who attend out-of-state schools are eligible. Borrow up to the total cost of education, but you must apply with a creditworthy co-signer. The repayment period is 15 years.

American Airlines Credit Education Loan

To borrow up to $40,000, you must be an eligible member of American Airlines Credit Union and meet all credit criteria. This loan has a repayment term of 10 years.

Kentucky Advantage Education Loan

Residents of Kentucky who attend out-of-state schools are eligible. It is possible to borrow the entire cost of education with a 15-year repayment term.

New Jersey Class Loan

Residents of New Jersey who attend out-of-state schools are eligible. It is possible to borrow the entire cost of education with repayment terms of 10, 15, or 20 years. Credit criteria must be met.

Alaska Supplemental Education Loan / Alaska Family Education Loan

Residents of Alaska who attend out-of-state schools are eligible. The loan limit is $10,000 per year, with a total loan limit of $56,000. A ten-year repayment period.

Florida National Guard Education Dollars for Duty

Soldiers and airmen from the Florida National Guard are eligible for the Florida EDD program. If eligible can only be used for approved L3Harris courses.

We Florida Financial (WeFly)

Must be a Florida resident or an AOPA member. With a six-year repayment term, you can borrow up to $30,000.

Federal Financial Aid

Unlike many other flight schools, L3Harris Flight Academy is approved to provide Federal Financial Aid to those in need of assistance with financing their pilot training at our pilot school.

Only those who enroll in the Professional Pilot Program Training (PPP) are eligible for federal financial aid.

Federal Financial Aid, or Title IV funding, is student aid provided by the US Department of Education which can cover up to 100% of the cost of flight training, for those who qualify.

There are a variety of financial aid options to choose from, please refer to the following list and contact an Admissions Officer to learn your next steps and determine which option may be right for you!

Federal Pell Grants: Federal Student Aid

Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid except under certain circumstances. Pell Grants are usually only awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. Pell Grants are considered a foundation of Federal Financial Aid, to which aid from other federal and non-federal sources might be added.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program: Federal Student Aid

Direct Stafford Loans, from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans are available for those who qualify.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Parents: Federal Student Aid

Parents of dependent students may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan to help pay their child's education expenses as long as certain eligibility requirements are met.

Grant amounts

Dependent on student expected family contribution and determined by the Free Application of Federal Student Aid.

How to apply

For more information on Federal Financial Aid and eligibility please click 'Request info' below.

Veterans education benefits

Veterans who are unsure of their eligibility or have questions about their entitlement should contact the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (1-888-GIBILL1). Eligible students enrolled in flight training at L3Harris Flight Academy must maintain satisfactory academic progress in the program in which they enroll to continue receiving VA education benefits.

Flight training is available to eligible veterans and reservists under Chapters 30, 32, and 33, Title 38 USC, Chapter 1606, and Title 10 USC. Only training at flight schools approved under Part 141 is eligible for benefits. Students must hold an unrestricted “Private Pilot Certificate” and at least Class II medical certificate privileges to be eligible for benefits. You must prove Class II privileges before the start of each course. Benefits are payable for dual flight, ground school training, and pre/post-flight briefings. Benefits are paid monthly following submission by the school of a “monthly certification of training”.

Applicants for Education Benefits (22-1990) and Request of Change of Program of Place of Training (22-1995) should be sent to:

VA Regional Office
P.O. Box 8888
Muskogee
OK 74402-8888

More information:

Veterans may call +1 888-442-4551, or visit the VA Benefits website.

Veterans interested in VA Educational benefits can contact our Financial Aid Office at +1 407-330-7020.

Start your journey to becoming a pilot today

We can help you take the next steps in your career to becoming a pilot. Whether you’ve recently finished or due to graduate from high school, or whether you think it’s time for a career change, our programs are designed for every kind of cadet. Learn how to become a pilot here.

If you would like more information or to speak to someone about how much it costs to become a pilot with L3Harris Flight Academy, please contact us.

Why L3Harris Flight Academy?
100% funding available for those who qualify
100% funding available for those who qualify

We work with 11 affiliate airlines (with pathways to United, American and Delta)
We work with 11 affiliate airlines (with pathways to United, American and Delta)

96% of graduates who stay with us to build flight hours go on to be placed with airlines
96% of graduates who stay with us to build flight hours go on to be placed with airlines

Guaranteed Flight Instructor interview upon graduation
Guaranteed Flight Instructor interview upon graduation

Similar to this

There are other ways of raising the capital to fund your pilot training.

FAA aviation scholarships