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:

  • have turned 18 years of age
  • be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • hold a valid U.S. driver’s license
  • 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 COMPASS 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 COMPASS aptitude assessment in Indianapolis. If you’re accepted, we’ll mail you an Acceptance Packet that includes financial aid information, instructions for your first-class medical exam, schedule information, etc., and you’ll have an on-site orientation on the first day of training.

Is there a fee to apply?

No. The application to LIFT is free of charge.

How much is tuition?

Tuition is $65,000 for the entire program–much less than many four-year degrees. Republic will offer financing opportunities and a loan assistance program. All of our graduates have a guaranteed pilot job waiting for them at Republic.

Will the GI Bill be available for veterans to use?

Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to accept the GI Bill, but that may change in the future.

How long does it take to complete the program?

Training can be completed in as little as one year.

What if I just want to get my private pilot license for general aviation? Is LIFT the school for me?

While we’d love to help you achieve your dream of flying, LIFT trains pilots specifically for the airlines, so the pilots we train must pass through all flight ratings and commit to flying with Republic Airways for five years.

When I graduate, what kind of degree or certification will I have?

You will have a private pilot certificate, instrument rating, multi-engine certification, commercial certificate and a Certified Flight Instructor certificate after your first year. After that, you’ll be a paid Certificated Flight Instructor as you build your flight hours to the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) requirement of 1500 hours. Then, we will put you through your final training for the ATP certification and type rating on the Embraer 175 jet.

Upon graduation, will my status be pilot or First Officer or Captain? What’s the difference?

When you fly your first flight, you’re a pilot. You’ll become a Republic Airline First Officer once you reach your ATP minimum requirements. A First Officer is the initial status of an airline pilot. Once you hold enough seniority, you can upgrade to a Captain position.

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.

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.

Will I have a job after I graduate?

Yes! LIFT is a direct training pathway to Republic. By successfully completing pilot training through LIFT, you will have a guaranteed First Officer position at Republic Airways.

How much will I earn?

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?

New classes begin every month. 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 Academy. 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?

All materials required for training will be provided by LIFT. We will supply you with an iPad that will be equipped to serve as your Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), a headset and more. LIFT will provide students polo shirts to be worn at all training sessions. Students will be expected to wear chino pants or shorts 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 Simulator 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.

Do I really get to fly free on Republic?

Once you earn your stripes as a First Officer, you’ll be able to travel for free or highly discounted rates—and not just on us! Republic employees and their families receive flight benefits on American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. We also have travel alliances with more than 50 other airlines across the world!


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