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The AOPA Air Safety Institute and You – How Collaboration Can Help General Aviation Safety

Arkansas Department of Aeronautics Selects ASI

You are probably familiar with the AOPA Air Safety Institute. After all, we’ve been working together for decades to promote general aviation safety in your states through in-person seminars and Flight Instructor Refresher Courses (FIRCs). Several of you, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia, sponsor the ASI Safety Seminar series twice a year and one state, Kentucky, sponsors FIRCs and seminars. We truly appreciate working with the state aviation organizations and would like to propose a new opportunity for us to collaborate.

As you may know, ASI is widely recognized as the leader in general aviation safety training and education. ASI’s FIRC experience spans forty years, since becoming the first non-government provider in the 1970s.  Annually, ASI also provides 75 in-person CFI refresher courses and 200 free safety seminars to tens of thousands of pilots across the country.  Additionally, ASI provides over 300 online safety resources, such as videos, courses, and publications, on its website at  In total, ASI programs are used by pilots more than 2,000,000 times annually.

Because of ASI’s expertise, the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics recently selected ASI to provide an in-person FIRC in February in Jacksonville, Arkansas, for CFIs who reside in the state. “We are privileged to have been selected by the state of Arkansas to provide this critically important training to flight instructors,” said ASI Senior Vice President George Perry. “With today’s commercial airline pilot shortage, keeping flight instructors qualified is extremely important to the health of our nation’s transportation system.  We look forward to this partnership and applaud Arkansas’ leadership in hosting this type of innovative program.”

ASI is interested in expanding the program to provide state-wide FIRCs nationwide. Not only does this type of arrangement provide an opportunity for the CFIs in your state to get together for a weekend of education and networking, but it provides the course to them at a reduced price and enhances aviation safety in your state. ASI believes that general aviation safety begins with the CFI and what better way to reach out to an active and vibrant slice of the pilot population in your state than with a FIRC presented by ASI and your office?

ASI renews more than 8,000 flight instructors annually through online and in-person FIRCs. Not only do we renew more CFIs than any other provider, but we’ve been presenting in-person FIRCs longer too – 40 years to be exact. We have a staff of 13 highly-qualified instructors who present approximately 75 refresher courses nationwide annually. Collectively, our presenters have hundreds of years of experience teaching CFIs and they take great pride in staying up to date on the latest instructional information and learning trends.

If you can provide a facility and sponsorship funds to offset the cost, ASI will do the rest.  That includes providing multiple presenters, an FAA-approved program of instruction, renewal paperwork processing, and temporary CFI certificates for attendees who successfully complete the course. In addition to presenting the required FAA material, ASI also offers electives that can be tailored to your specific requirements. Here is an opportunity to address your instructor population and discuss state-specific issues with them. Additional state participation could be in the form of providing assistance with registering CFIs for the course on-site, and food and beverage.

The number one comment we hear from our FIRC attendees is how much they appreciate the in-person experience. From interacting with our instructors, to networking with other CFIs and catching up with old friends, an in-person FIRC provides a unique experience and learning opportunity. “Don’t stop providing the live FIRCs” is the constant refrain and with the States’ help, we can continue to enhance safety through these courses.

If you are interested in setting up an ASI FIRC in your state, please contact Kathleen Vasconcelos, the Air Safety Institute’s VP of Education and Operations, at or 301-695-2084.


Categories: News, Uncategorized
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