Coe College partners with Eastern Iowa Airport, Revv Aviation to open flight school

Coe College will launch a flight school and aviation management program in partnership with the Eastern Iowa Airport. (Photo courtesy of Coe College)

By Brooklyn Draisey, Iowa Capital Dispatch     

As demand for pilots grows, Coe College is partnering with the Eastern Iowa Airport and aviation services company Revv Aviation to create a flight school and aviation management program.

Pending approval from the Higher Learning Commission, the four-year program will earn students their Federal Aviation Administration pilot certification alongside a business administration degree with a concentration in aviation management, according to a news release. Students can also pursue the aviation management concentration without joining flight school.


A donation of $200,000 to Coe College helped get the initiative going, according to the release, and the college will also seek federal funding for the program in partnership with the airport. The college plans to begin welcoming students to the program in fall 2025, but, if a “sizable cohort” shows interest in immediate enrollment, the program could start this fall instead.

Coe College spokesperson Natalie Milke said in an email the first cohort can take as many as 24 students, with possible expansion in future years.

“Cedar Rapids is an aviation rich town,” said Coe College President David Hayes in the release. “With the presence of national and international companies in the area, there is a concentration of pilots and aviation professionals, so Coe will build a program with highly skilled experts to teach courses and mentor students.”


Revv Aviation will run the flight school, the news release stated, having produced more than 3,000 flight school graduates in other programs. Coe College will also seek Part 141 certification with the FAA, which includes a training program for professional pilots that could help students get their certification more quickly and find a job in the industry while still logging flight hours, according to the release.

Coe College faculty and Revv Aviation will lead the program together, according to the release. Students will take courses on campus and at the college’s aeronautical field station at the Eastern Iowa Airport, where they will have exclusive use of a hangar and office area and chances to work with pilots and other aviation experts.


The airport is in the final phase of its modernization project, and is currently adding 32,000 square-feet and four more jet bridges, giving students a better and more cutting-edge experience, according to the release.

Eastern Iowa Airport Director Marty Lenss said in the release that Coe College is a “forward-thinking educational leader,” and he is proud to be helping the school in attracting and retaining talent. According to the release, there is an expected gap of 17,000 pilots as current pilots begin to reach their age-mandated retirement.


“We are thrilled to be partners on this new program,” Lenss said in the release. “This announcement is another step toward creating the aviation education campus at CID. In addition, it will open doors to new economic development opportunities.”

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