INDIANAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ExplorersWanted–Ivy Tech Community College Columbus and Leadership in Flight Training (LIFT) Academy have announced a partnership to offer a Professional Flight Associate of Applied Science degree expected to begin in October 2022.

The program will combine 32 credit hours of Ivy Tech classroom time with nearly 260 flight hours, allowing individuals to pursue an Associate degree at the same time they complete flight training to prepare for a career in the airline industry. Through this partnership, students will also have an option to complete their flight instructor certifications.

“Our Professional Flight program has helped prepare students on their pathway to becoming a pilot since its inception five years ago,” said Dr. Steven Combs, Chancellor of the Ivy Tech Columbus service area. “LIFT Academy’s unique programming will connect our students with top-notch training and lead to potential employment. We welcome LIFT aboard as a partner to Ivy Tech Columbus Professional Flight.”

LIFT Academy, owned by Republic Airways in Indianapolis, is one of the largest flight schools in the nation, training approximately 300 students a year with one of the largest, newest and most technologically advanced fleets of training aircraft. Due to LIFT’s unique ownership structure with Republic Airways and strategic relationship with Cape Air, Ivy Tech students who successfully graduate from the program will receive an interview with Republic and have an exclusive opportunity to interview for initial pilot positions with Cape Air.

“As the first flight school of its kind in the nation with a direct pilot career pathway to Republic Airways, we’re proud to continue forming valuable strategic relationships, such as this with Ivy Tech, to bring aviation closer to a broader population, making a career as an airline pilot more attainable and accessible,” says Ed Bagden, LIFT Academy’s Director of Operations and Academic Programs.

There will be a limited number of seats available for this program, and prospective students will need to successfully pass medical examinations and background checks before gaining admittance. Interested individuals can learn more by visiting or applying to

LIFT Academy is also hosting an Open House at their hangar at Indianapolis International Airport on Thursday, August 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and is located at 2753 Cargo Drive. Ivy Tech officials will be at the event to share information on this program. A Fall Open House is also scheduled for October 13.

About LIFT Academy: Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy is a U.S.-based commercial aviation pilot training school owned by Republic Airways. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, LIFT revolutionizes commercial aviation training, utilizing state-of-the-art, eco-friendly training technologies and systems to educate future aviators. Students receive instruction from experienced pilots, under FAA and industry standards, with the most advanced equipment and curriculum that combines flight, flight simulator, online and in-classroom training. LIFT Academy students train on a fleet of advanced new aircraft and flight simulators produced by Diamond Aircraft Industries, including the DA40 single-engine, the DA42 twin-engine aircraft and the DA20 single-engine, as well as Diamond Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTD) built to achieve the most realistic cockpit simulation environment. LIFT offers its graduates a defined pathway to a pilot career at Republic Airways.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.


Republic Airways Corporate Communications

Randy Proffitt, Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Services