CWU News

CWU Aviation Program Names Flight Instruction Partner

Central Washington University today announced the intent to award a contract for flight training to IASCO Flight Training (IFT), based in Redding, California. Negotiations will proceed immediately to finalize a five-year contract that would begin fall 2014.

“The IFT proposal fully addressed aviation program accreditation, oversight, and cost concerns,” said CWU President James L. Gaudino. “IFT has a wonderful reputation in the industry as a respected leader in aviation services. We are looking forward to getting to know them and welcoming them as a new member of the Ellensburg community.”

Gaudino said the IFT plan proposes to decrease costs to students, who currently pay as much as $70,000 in additional flight fees for a bachelor’s degree in aviation. The proposal also includes a safety management system plan that meets industry needs and would bring the aviation program a step closer to specialized accreditation by the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

The program is currently accredited, along with all university programs, by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. CWU’s aviation program is the only fully accredited public university aviation program in the Pacific Northwest.

Earlier this week, CWU completed a Request for Proposal process to identify a new provider of flight instruction for the Department of Aviation. CWU faculty provide classroom instruction, but contract for flight instruction for the program’s 95 students. They collectively fly nearly 6,800 hours per year and account for about 80 percent of takeoffs and landings at Bowers Field in Ellensburg. Ensuring the stability of the program, and a smooth transition to a new flight-training provider, were the top priorities in the process.

“IFT is eager to be part of our education and business community. Their solid record of service in the industry is proof that they are prepared to be excellent partners,” said Gaudino, adding that the company has indicated a commitment to establish infrastructure at Bowers Field. “IFT would bring the program state-of-the-art aircraft and avionics, including enhanced safety and tracking procedures.”

IFT offers global crew leasing and management, customized flight training, airline management services, and full flight services at its base in Napa, California. In 2008 the company expanded to Redding, California, and established IFT. The pilot training program provides standardized and comprehensive, airline-oriented training, which prepares students for aviation careers.

Media contact: Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1384,

February 5, 2014