Flight Training Assistance Program (FTAP)
Justification and History
The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (Commission) has determined, from pilot statistics compiled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), that in the past three decades, the number of licensed pilots in North Dakota (ND) has declined from 4,095 to 3,207, a percentage decrease of 22%. The FAA statistics further indicate a disproportional decrease of licensed pilots between rural and urban areas of ND.
The Commission is advised that at least some of the explanation for the disproportionate decline of licensed pilots in rural areas is the lack of availability of flight instruction at a cost comparable to the rates offered in urban areas. The higher price can be attributed largely to the cost of transportation incurred by the flight instructor while commuting to and from a rural airport.
The North Dakota Century Code states, in part, that the Commission shall “Cooperate with and assist … the municipalities of this state … in the development and coordination of all aeronautical activities,” which has been interpreted to include the making of grants for educational purposes. The Commission finds that grants that would facilitate the availability of flight instruction in rural areas of ND at a cost comparable to that cost in urban areas of the state is a proper and appropriate function of the Commission in the administration of its aeronautical educational grants and has the potential of increasing the utilization of rural airports.
Flight Training Assistance Program
The intent of the Flight Training Assistance Program (FTAP) is to help defray additional student costs as a result of direct transportation costs incurred by commuting flight instructors. FTAP will be offered to rural public use airports meeting the following criteria:
- Airport not served by an active flight instructor, AND/OR
- Airport does not have an aircraft available for instructional use
Commuting flight instructors are not required to be North Dakota (ND) residents, but primary instruction must be performed at a ND public use airport. Instructors are eligible for reimbursement of transportation costs incurred while traveling to and from their home airports (via aircraft or motor vehicle) as well as meal and lodging expenses. These expenses are limited to the amounts authorized by state law.
FTAP program requirements include:
- Agreement by requesting airport to pay 25% of transportation, meal, and lodging costs incurred by commuting flight instructor (Commission will provide 75% grant)
- A yearly application renewal submitted by participating airports
- A minimum of 3 hours of instruction per instructional visit (not limited to 1 student)
In the event the FTAP is terminated or funds run out, those airports with current applications will be contacted immediately.
The Commission will make available to the governing body of all eligible airports, the grant application (949kb doc) which outlines the details of FTAP. Once submitted and approved, requested grant payments should be submitted via a grant payment voucher (208kb pdf) and will be computed at a rate of 75% pursuant to state guidelines. Grant checks will be made payable to the airport and mailed to the airport’s designated representative. Click here (94kb pdf) to see an example of an airport-instructor agreement (required for your application).
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