Becoming a professional pilot requires students to meet various qualifications and undergo theoretical and actual flight training. Pilot training is provided by flight schools or flight training institutes which are located in different countries around the globe.

United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Philippines and South Africa are the most chosen destinations by international students for their pilot training course. All the training organisations offer pilot training in line with the standard course syllabus however, the training cost may vary from country to country.

Talking about the United States, there are lots of aviation training organizations located in different cities. It might be confusing or difficult for the students to choose the best flight schools. So, we have come up with this article to answer the question ‘What are the best flight schools in USA for international students?’.

We will find out the Top 6 Best Flight Schools in the United States offering quality pilot training to domestic as well as international students. In the end, we will also discuss the requirements and processes to apply for pilot training in the U.S. as a foreign or international student.

Top 5 Best Flight Schools in USA for International Students

Here are the Best Flight Schools in USA for international students where various pilot training programs are available.

Epic Flight Academy

Epic Flight Academy is one of the best flight schools in USA for international students that is also known as the leading Cessna Pilot Center. Established in 1999 by CEO Danny Perna, the academy offers pilot training and aircraft mechanic training.

The academy is officially verified as a Part 141 Pilot Training School and Part 147 Aircraft Maintenance Training Organization. Thousands of pilots have been trained from Epic and the graduated pilots are now flying for more than 300 airlines around the world.

Epic Flight Academy (Top 5 Best Flight Schools in USA for international students)

International and Transfer students are accepted by Epic Flight Academy. The available courses include Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL), Aircraft Mechanic Program, College Degree Program and various other aviation courses.

Airline Pilot Program Cost at Epic Flight Academy

Starting with Commercial CourseUS$22,660.50US$40,486.00
Starting with Instrument CourseUS$37,600.50US$55,426.00
Zero Experience to Airline PilotUS$53,898.00US$79,344.00

Phoenix East Aviation

Phoenix East Aviation (PEA) is also among the best flight schools in USA for international students and is located in Florida. Since its establishment in 1972, PEA is consistently offering quality pilot training to aviation enthusiasts. Over 12,000 professional pilots have already been produced from PEA.

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PEA (Top 5 Best Flight Schools in USA for international students)

PEA Flight School is officially approved as a Part 141 and Part 61 flight school by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the aviation regulatory body in the United States. Talking about the training facility, PEA features modern aircraft with modern equipment. The Cessna 172SP featuring Garmin G1000 Glass Cockpit is the most used training aircraft available at PEA.

Private Pilot License (PPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL) training are the common pilot training programs offered by PEA. Besides, the institute offers a professional pilot program that allows students to obtain a CPL License with Instrument and Multi-Engine Ratings in a professional way.

There are two professional pilot programs offered by PEA which are Professional Pilot Program I and Professional Pilot Program III. The total cost for the first one is $62,102 while it is $80,286 for the second one.

PEA accept international students from around the world as it is approved by the Department of Homeland Security to issue the F-1 Student Visa Form (I-20). Likewise, the organization is also approved to provide M-1 VIsa to foreign students.

Delta Qualiflight Aviation Academy

Delta Qualiflight is also among the top best flight schools in the United States. This pilot training school is located in Fort Worth, Texas and offers quality pilot training including PPL and CPL at the lowest possible price. Till the time of writing this article, Delta has trained over 8,000 pilots who are working for more than 100 countries around the globe.

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Delta Qualiflight (Top 5 Best Flight Schools in USA for international students)

The training courses offered by the flight school are PPL, Instrument Rating (IR), CPL, Flight Instructor and Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP). 

Delta Qualiflight accepts international students to undertake pilot training courses. For that, students from foreign countries must submit an enrollment form with a full copy of passport and other required documents. Delta will assist international applicants with their TSA clearance, I-20 Form, housing and accommodations.

The cost for CPL training at Delta Qualiflight starts at $35,000. The overall tuition fee might exceed $57,000 for the Zero Experience to Airline Pilot program. You can contact the flight school via mail or telephone to find out all details including the exact training cost.

SkyEagle Aviation Academy

SkyEagle Aviation Academy is FAA Certified and a SEVIS Approved Part 141 flight school that specializes in Professional Pilot training programs. The flight school offers Part 141 as well as Part 61 programs ranging from Private Pilot Certificate to Airline Transport Pilot (ATP).

SkyEagle is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is offering quality pilot training since its establishment. The main training courses available at the academy are PPL, Accelerated PPL Program, Instrument Rating (IR), CPL, Multi-Engine Rating, Professional Pilot Program (Zero Experience to CPL), Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and Airline Career Program (Zero Experience to ATPL).

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SkyEagle Aviation Academy (Top 5 Best Flight Schools in USA for international students)

Aerobatic Flight Training, ATP Certification Training Courses (ATP-CTP), Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Programs and Helicopter Training are the additional courses offered by the flight school.

SkyEagle Aviation Academy is a great flight school for international students as it provides essential assistance in preparing documents, clearing TSA and obtaining a student visa. Besides, it features a student house that can accommodate up to students at a time.

Pilot Training Programs Cost at SkyEagle Aviation Academy

Private Pilot Program$11,205
Commercial Pilot Program$53,675
Professional Pilot Program (Zero Experience to CPL)$59,820
Airline Career Program$50,700

Kingsky Flight Academy

Kingsky Flight Academy is also one of the best aviation schools located in Florida. The flight school has surpassed over 60 years of quality flight training service and could be a meaningful choice for domestic as well as international students.

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Kingsky Flight Academy (Top 5 Best Flight Schools in USA for international students)

This academy also received the ‘Best Flight School (Southern Region)’ Award in 2019 and ‘Flight Training Experience Award’ in 2017. 

The training courses available at Kingsky Flight Academy are Private Pilot Program, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot Program, Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and Professional Pilot Programs.

International students can apply for the Kingsky Flight Academy and get enrolled in various pilot training programs. The academy will assist foreign students in preparing documents and obtaining I-20, clearing TSA and an M1 student visa.

Pilot Training Programs Cost at Kingsky Flight Academy

Private Pilot ProgramStarting at $7,475
Commercial Pilot ProgramStarting at $19,305
Professional Pilot Program (I to X)Ranging from $42,048 to $48,020

How to apply for pilot training in the USA as an international student?

All the flight training schools mentioned above accept applications from foreign students. Future pilots from various countries across the globe can enrol at any of these schools and fulfil their dream to become professional pilots.

Students must go through the following processes to apply and obtain a visa for pilot training in the United States.

Step#1-First of all, foreign students must meet all the following requirements before applying.

  • The minimum required age is at least 17 years
  • Minimum High School or Equivalent level of education is mandatory.
  • Must hold a valid international passport.
  • Must provide proof of financial means to fund pilot training.
  • Must be able to read, speak, write and understand the English Language.
  • Must be able to pass the Class 1 Medical Examination

Step#2-If basic requirements are fulfilled, students need to submit visa processing fees to cover I-20 processing, SEVIS I-901 government fee and other fees.

Step#3-The Flight School will accept your application and issue I-20 signed by a designated official. You will also receive an I-901 receipt and student checklist along with processes for TSA registration and all other official processes.

Step#4-Most of the flight schools assist you in preparing documents and scheduling an M-1 Student visa interview with the nearest U.S. Embassy. They will also assist you in preparing for the interview to get successful.

Step#5-Once you get the M-1 Student Visa, you will be ready to fly to the flight school for your pilot training course.

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Become Professional Pilot (Top 5 Best Flight Schools in USA for international students)


If you are an international student willing to apply for pilot training courses in the United States, you can apply to any of the institutes mentioned above. All the best flight schools in USA for international students listed in this article offer quality pilot training programs. The pricing is also reasonable.

We discussed various programs available at different flight schools such as the Private Pilot Program, Commercial Pilot Program, Professional Pilot Program and much more. Among these, Professional Pilot Program is getting popular today because it offers a professional way to become an Airline pilot with little or zero experience.

The majority of flight schools mentioned in this article are located in Florida. It is the best location for pilot training due to the great weather. The climate is perfect for flight training with more than 230 sunny days on average every year.

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Suman Karki
Suman Karki is the founder of the AviaTech Channel blog and YouTube Channel. He is a passionate aviation enthusiast and holds experience working as a Ground Operations Officer for Swissport International. He is currently serving as a Flight Data Feeder for FlightAware (a US-based company for Flight Tracking). Besides, he has worked as an aviation content editor for various aviation media.


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