Frequently Asked

What are the qualifications needed to be a student at the Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy?

In order to qualify for acceptance at LIFT, students must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Hold a valid U.S. driver’s license OR permit
  • Have graduated from high school

In addition, we’re looking for motivated individuals who have a passion for adventure! Applicants must be able to pass an FBI background check and an FAA medical examination, including random drug and alcohol tests. Good communication skills, including the ability to speak and be clearly understood in English, as well as good motor skills are also necessary. A pilot aptitude assessment will be utilized to help determine an applicant’s suitability.

Does LIFT train international students?

At this time, our students need to be able to work in the U.S., but we may expand training to international students in the future.

How do I apply?

Visit and submit your application. Within a week, you’ll receive an email with next steps, and we’ll help you go from there.

What does the application process look like?

Once you apply online, we’ll assess your application and then invite you to an in-person interview and pilot aptitude assessment in Indianapolis. If you’re accepted, an acceptance email will be sent with the necessary steps to help you enroll at LIFT Academy, including, financial information, instructions for your first-class medical exam, schedule information, etc., and you’ll have an online orientation on the first day of training. Start dates are available year-round.

Is there a fee to apply?

No. The application to LIFT is free of charge.

How much is tuition?

Tuition varies depending on what program you are in. To view the tuition costs for LIFT’s different training programs, click here to visit Our Program page.

Will the GI Bill be available for veterans to use?

As of March 2021, LIFT Academy received VA approval to accept GI Bill benefits for Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty and Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve. If you are interested in applying the GI Bill to your training, submit an application and email for more information.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Training can be completed in as little as one year.

What ratings can I start with to be able to participate in the Republic Airways Career Pathway Program?

 Zero time or Private Pilot Licensed students are eligible.

If quite some time has passed since I completed my private a few years backpilot license or have last flown, will there be anything additional I need to complete?

LIFT offers proficiency training for those who are no longer current with the FAA.  Details about the types of proficiency training may be found here.  Reach out to a recruiter to find which training is best suited for you.

What is the Republic Airways Career Pathway Program at LIFT Academy?

Republic Airways Career Pathway Program is a full-time commitment with a defined pathway to a career as a pilot with Republic Airways. Students in the Republic Airways Career Pathway Program must be available five to seven days per week to train. Students in the Republic Airways Career Pathway Program receive a subsidized cost for training with a five-year commitment to Republic.

What does the time commitment of a Republic Airways Career Pathway Program student look like?

Students must be available at least five days per week and up to seven to ensure efficient progression in flight training.

When I complete the program, what kind of degree or certification will I have?

Those in the Republic Airways Career Pathway Program will earn a private pilot certificate, instrument rating, multi-engine certification, commercial certificate,  a Certificated Flight Instructor certificate, a Certificated Flight Instructor – Instrument certificate and a Multi-engine Instructor certificate upon successful completion of the program.

For those in the Collegiate Pathway Program, you will earn all of these ratings and an Associate degree in aviation.

After that, you’ll be able to be a paid Certificated Flight Instructor(CFI) as you build your flight hours to the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) requirement of 1500 hours.



If I have my private pilot’s license, can I apply?

Yes, there is an opportunity to be accepted into the program with a private license as well as other ratings.

Can I have a part time or full-time job while going through training?

Keep in mind the Republic Airways Career Pathway Program is a full time commitment of its own. Students can pursue part-time if it does not interfere with their flight training schedule.

Are there height and weight limitations for students to train at LIFT?

Due to aircraft operational limitations, students taller than 6’3″ or weighing more than 230 lbs may not be able to operate our training aircraft and, as such, may not be able to successfully complete all flight training at LIFT Academy. All students must be able to sit in the aircraft and reach all controls.

What is the cost for someone who already has their private and 100 hours total time?

Those students who already have ratings will have a prorated tuition. That cost will be provided after acceptance into LIFT.

Am I guaranteed a flight instructor or time-building position after completing training?

LIFT students are eligible to be hired at LIFT as a certificated flight instructor (CFI) or can build time at other Part 121 or Part 135 partners. 

Will I have a job after completion?

All graduates of the Republic Airways Career Pathway Program have a defined pathway to becoming a pilot at Republic Airways.  

How much will I earn?

At Republic Airways, the starting pay as a First Officer at Republic is $45/hour. Pilots are guaranteed a minimum of 75 hours of pay per month, but pilots will typically average more hours of pay each month. The average first-year salary is around $60,000. Pilots can also earn annual pay increases. Year two pay at Republic is $50/hour.

When do classes start?

Classes begin monthly. Training is year-round to accelerate your pathway to becoming an airline pilot.

Where is LIFT located? Are classes on-site or remote?

LIFT is located at the Indianapolis International Airport. Instruction will be a combination of flight, online and in the classroom.

I’m not from the Central Indiana area. What about housing?

Housing is not included, but there are many options within close proximity of the hangar. LIFT recruiters can assist in providing housing information.

What types of technology or equipment will I need for school? Is there a uniform policy or dress code?

Students are provided with LIFT Kits during orientation. These include: LIFT polos, a backpack, E6B, plotter, and foggles. iPads are provided on loan from our IT department and the other items (mug, water bottle, notebook, and hat) are available on our company store for an additional purchase. During training, students will be expected to wear their providedLIFT polo, khaki/chino pants or shorts of any color and closed-toe, rubber-sole shoes.

What type of equipment will I train on?

Republic has invested in state-of-the-art, eco-friendly training technologies. LIFT students will train on a fleet of advanced new aircraft and flight simulators produced by Diamond Aircraft Industries. The DA40NG and DA42VI aircraft possess the most advanced technology in the industry, and Flight Simulation Training Devices allow the students to achieve the most realistic cockpit simulation environment for a real-world experience and easy transition to the cockpit.

Is any travel required?

Training is done in an airplane, with the majority of lessons ending at Indianapolis International Airport. Minimal, if any, travel is required, other than to and from the LIFT training site.

What is LIFT’s relationship to Republic Airways?

LIFT is a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings.


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