MAC Facts: Pilot Training and Reliever Flight Schools

FCM Pilot TrainingA nationwide pilot shortage has local flight schools seeing an increase in prospective students. The shortage comes as air transportation demands increase and the desire to travel continues to rebound from the pandemic.  

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the agency responsible for certifying pilots. More information is available at  

The Metropolitan Airport Commission's (MAC's) six reliever airports are home to nine flight schools and thirteen flying clubs.  

Airspace across the Twin Cities and beyond is experiencing flight training increases as students travel from airport to airport, practice their maneuvers, and improve their flight proficiency with navigating and using varying airfield conditions.  

On fair weather days, student pilots take to the skies to develop their skills. People living under flight paths may notice an increase in the number of aircraft using our reliever airports in recent months with the many fair weather days our region has been experiencing.

Neighbors may also notice an increase in the number of aircraft flying at night this time of year because pilot certification requires several hours of nighttime flying experience after sunset and before sunrise. MAC's airport are public use transportation facilities, open and available for use 24-hours a day. 

Anyone with questions regarding aircraft activity associated with flight training may call the Community Relations Office at 612-726-9411 or submit an online contact request here: Contact Us.