Aviation Academy

The Frankford Aviation Academy is a one-of-a-kind program where students interested in flight can fly an airplane or drone and earn their initial pilot certificates in these areas.  Students who are motivated and meet FAA requirements will get to participate in aircraft flight training at Northeast Philadelphia Airport as early as their second year in the program.  Students also have the opportunity to learn and perfect their unmanned aircraft pilot skills on high-quality drones and simulators.

How to Apply?

When attending Frankford High School, all students are given a chance to be introduced to the Aviation Academy through Aviation & Drone after school Club during your freshman year. Every February, students select their classes for the following school during course selection. It is at this time those who qualify will request admission into the aviation program.


• To enroll in the program, applicants must possess a profound English  language written and verbal skills, one year of algebra, and proof of United States citizenship or approval from the Transportation Security Administration.
• Prior to commencing with the flight training, all students must obtain an aviation medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner. Tailwinds Flight School will provide a list of available qualified Aviation Medical Examiners.


  • Introduction to Flying
  • Basic Aerodynamics
  • Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Airframe & Engines
  • Aircraft Systems
  • Aviation Physiology
  • Federal Regulations
  • Drone Photography & Videography
  • Programming and Coding
  • Virtual Reality

Where will this lead you?

Graduates of the program will have various employment opportunities after completing the program and successfully obtaining their licenses and certificates.

Possible Manned Pilot Careers

  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • Pilot for Sightseeing Tours
  • Aerial Photography
  • Traffic Reporting
  • Banner Towing
  • Commercial Airline Pilot
  • Air Ambulance

Unmanned (Drone) Pilot Careers

  • Search and Rescue Operations
  • Drone Photographer/Videographer
  • Roof Inspections
  • Power Line Inspector
  • Military Drone Pilot
  • Drone Show Designer

Flight Certificates Offered

During their time in the Aviation Academy, students will have the opportunity to earn the following flight certificates and ratings:

  • Student Pilot Certificate
  • Private Pilot Certificate
  • Instrument Rating
  • Multi-Engine Rating
  • Part 107 sUAS Certificate (Commercial Drone Pilot)
  • APSA Basic Proficiency Evaluation for Remote Pilot Certification
  • AUVSI Trusted Operator Program Level 1

The majority of the work in the program is done during the normal school day and at no cost to students.

Interview with Aderah Davis, the First Frankford High School Aviation Academy Student to Fly

Frankford Drone Pilot Program