Research Foundation News

February 14, 2017

FAA approves flight school status for Purdue Aviation

prf purdue eav02 Poonam Guar, a TECNAM aircraft dealer from India, practices preflight procedures on Purdue Aviation LLC’s TECNAM P2006T twin-engine aircraft. (Purdue Research Foundation photo/Curt Slyder) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Aviation LLC has hit a milestone in its growth with Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, approval of Part 141 flight school certification, which allows it to offer a more structured flight training syllabus for future professional pilots.

“Part 141 certification is key to the future growth of Purdue Aviation,” said Purdue alumnus Scott Niswonger, who co-owns the company with the Purdue Research Foundation. “Receiving this certification is the next logical step as we add services to increase the profile of Purdue Aviation, allowing us to help fill the critical need for more commercial pilots.”

Niswonger and Purdue Research Foundation purchased the company, formerly called Lafayette Aviation, in 2015. The purchase occurred the same year the 980-acre Purdue Research Park Aerospace District was established in the area adjacent to the airport.

Purdue Aviation offered flight training under the FAA Part 61 regulation before issue of the Part 141 certification, said Jeff Pittard, president of Purdue Aviation.

According to Pittard, “Part 141 requires a more stringent process involving FAA approval of pilot training curriculums, personnel, facilities and aircraft. The Part 141 designation allows students in the program to qualify for pilot certification in less time than Part 61.”

Company officials plan to soon begin offering flight classes based on the Part 141 certification and adding airline industry collaboration to the coursework.

“This designation by the FAA for Purdue Aviation opens the door for great new opportunities,” said Dan Hasler, president of Purdue Research Foundation. “With the upcoming March opening of the Purdue Technology Center Aerospace building that will house some of Rolls-Royce’s R&D activities, the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District is taking off.”

Purdue Aviation and Purdue Research Foundation recently partnered with Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM, an aircraft company based in Italy, to create a U.S.-based sales, maintenance and training center for TECNAM aircraft. The agreement included the sale of a TECNAM P2006T twin-engine certified technologically advanced aircraft to Purdue Aviation, which the company now uses for training and for leasing.

prf purdue eav01 Purdue Aviation LLC’s TECNAM P2006T twin-engine aircraft is available for lease or for training purposes from the company, which recently achieved full flight school status from the FAA. (Photo provided by Purdue Aviation LLC). Download image

Purdue Aviation’s new Part 141 certification along with the TECNAM P2006T aircraft could also be beneficial to students in Purdue’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology within the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

“Purdue Aviation’s Part 141 training program helps our students as well, by providing those who have earned their flight instructor certificates the opportunity to serve as instructors in the new program,” said John Mott, interim head of the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. “In addition, the new TECNAM P2006T aircraft will allow our students to gain the multiengine flight experience they need in an economical manner.”

The Part 141 certification will provide greater pilot training opportunities in other ways as well.

“The certification will make a difference by appealing to prospective commercial pilots,” Pittard said. “Also, with the certification we will soon have approval from the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans to use their benefits at our school.”

Purdue Aviation is a full-service fixed base operator (FBO) offering fuel service, aircraft rental, flight training and aircraft maintenance. More information about Purdue Aviation is available at

About Purdue Aviation

Purdue Aviation LLC, located at the Purdue University Airport, KLAF, in West Lafayette, Indiana, offers premium flight support including hangar space, catering, and ground transportation and is a certified aircraft maintenance center. As one of the premier flight training providers and affiliated with Purdue University, Purdue Aviation provides pilot license training, fuel sales, aircraft maintenance, aircraft rental and aircraft sales.

About Purdue Research Park Aerospace District

Purdue Research Park Aerospace District is situated on the southwest corner of the internationally recognized Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The 980-acre aerospace district, under development by the Purdue Research Foundation, is a flagship for public and private aerospace research and development to advance aviation and aeronautics innovations. Plans for the aerospace district, which encompasses the Purdue University Airport, Purdue Aviation (formerly called Lafayette Aviation) and the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories, include opportunities for aerospace companies that wish to collaborate with Purdue to build research and development facilities. The site has already been named an Indiana Certified Technology Park by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at

Media contact: Curt Slyder, 765-588-3342,

Sources: Jeff Pittard, 765-743-9692,

Dan Hasler, 765-588-3826,

Scott Niswonger,

John Mott, 765-494-2686,

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