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5 Reasons Southern California Is the Best Place for Commercial Pilot Training

February 14, 2022
by Kent Parrish

Are you seeking commercial pilot training but you’re not sure where in the country to enroll? Try a Southern California flight school! This state is widely regarded as an excellent locale for developing your flight abilities. What are the benefits of commercial flight training in Southern California?

Here are some excellent reasons to pursue commercial flight training in Southern California:

  • Picture-perfect weather
  • Proximity to airports
  • Long-term ties to aviation
  • Variety of flight schools
  • Great job opportunities

In today’s article, we’ll expound on the above reasons for considering SoCal (Southern California) as your commercial pilot training destination. By the time you’re done reading, you too could fall in love with this great part of the Golden State.

5 Great Reasons to Choose Southern California for Commercial Pilot Training

Southern California is known for many things, such as its clean beaches, passionate sports teams, variety of festivals, and family-fun attractions.

Perhaps one or more of those things will lure you to SoCal, but aspiring commercial flight pilots like the area for different reasons.

Here are 5 of them.

1. Picture-Perfect Weather

Commercial flight pilots will have to learn to navigate storms aplenty, but when you’re only beginning to master your craft, you need clear weather as often as possible.

That’s the first reason on our list to enroll in a SoCal commercial flight school.

The temperatures are rarely cold on the coast, even in the typically blustery winter months of January and February. January temps average at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while in February, the average is a comfortable range of 59 to 80 degrees.

According to science and weather resource Current Results, San Diego gets roughly 146 sunny days per year. Another 117 days are partly sunny for a total of 263 days of the year with at least some sun!

In a 365-day year, that’s only 102 days of precipitation.

Rather than be sidelined by rainy or even snowy days (not in Southern California, mind you, but other parts of the country), you can spend more time flying your aircraft. The comfortable, idyllic SoCal weather can fast-track your training compared to enrolling in a flight school in a colder district.

2. Proximity to Airports

You have the ideal weather, so now you just need the right training grounds. Fortunately, SoCal has you covered there as well!

Throughout San Diego and the other cities and towns in the southern part of the state are airports galore. Here is a list to get you started.

  • San Diego International Airport: As one of the biggest airports in the country, the San Diego International Airport, formerly known as Lindbergh Field, is only three miles northwest of the popular downtown area. The San Diego International Airport is 663 acres.
  • Ontario International Airport: In Ontario, California, Ontario International Airport is 18 miles westward of San Bernardino and 38 miles east of Los Angeles’ bustling downtown. The huge airport spans 1,741 acres.
  • Catalina Airport: The small, privately-owned Catalina Airport is about seven miles northwest of Avalon, a SoCal business district. Aircraft can typically land here, especially if you’re passing through Catalina Island.
  • Kern Valley Airport: In the Kern River Valley about three miles southward from Kernville is the Kern Valley Airport. This tucked-away public airport is another little gem to explore.
  • Palm Springs International Airport: As a commercial flight pilot in SoCal, you’re also near the Palm Springs International Airport, which was once called the Palm Springs Municipal Airport. Across two runways and 940 acres, this airport is especially bustling in the spring, winter, and autumn.
  • Long Beach Airport: Nicknamed Daugherty Field, Long Beach Airport near LA and downtown Long Beach is a smaller airport to add to your list.
  • Hollywood Burbank Airport: The airport once called the Bob Hope Airport but now known as the Hollywood Burbank Airport serves the Burbank area and even includes a fire department.
  • Gillespie Field: as a county-owned airport, Gillespie Field is located roughly 12 miles eastward from San Diego in the city of El Cajon. This airfield boasts an air traffic control tower and less traffic compared to other SoCal airports.

3. Long-Term Ties to Aviation

When you choose to learn commercial flight training in Southern California, know that you’re selecting a place that has a long-term connection to aviation.

This Los Angeles Times article from 1989 elaborates further. Aerospace firms have long since found SoCal a lucrative part of the country for doing business due to many of the factors we outlined above. The sizable labor pool at the time as well as the then-low taxes were also appealing.

The Times article also details that even during the days of World War II, Orange County grew from the development of military aircraft such as bombers.

Thus, the relationship between SoCal and aerospace goes back to at least the 1950s. Today, that connection is as strong as ever.

4. Variety of Flight Schools

When determining where you’ll enroll for commercial pilot training, having access to a wealth of educational options is certainly a top consideration. This way, you can compare tuition prices and select a flight school that works within your budget.

SoCal has no shortage of flight schools for you to select from. Whether you want to learn the ins and outs of flight protocols, crew communication, and flight plan creation at an airport or a dedicated school, you have options across the southern part of California.

5. Great Job Opportunities

The selection of flight schools and airports throughout Southern California are exemplary not only from a student perspective but from a job-seeking perspective as well.

You can be reasonably certain that once you graduate from a commercial flight school of your choice that you can easily progress into an aviation role by staying in SoCal. You may work at one of the above airports or get hired by an aviation company based in LA.

This part of California is truly rife in job opportunities for aspiring pilots!

How to Choose a School for Commercial Pilot Training in San Diego

With so many commercial flight schools afforded to you in Southern California, how do you choose?

We recommend a commercial pilot school that has its own flight grounds for students to safely practice in. The right school for you should offer a program with enough flight hours so that by the time you graduate, you’re ready to advance in your first role as a commercial pilot.

A pilot training school that helps you earn your license quickly is also highly recommended, as then you can get started working that much sooner!

If these are qualities that you’re seeking in a Southern California flight school, look no further than California Flight Academy.

Our students earn their professional pilot’s license in under a year so they can sooner be hired by the best airports and aviation businesses in the state.

Our partnership with Gillespie Field Airport has been going strong since 1973. Students can practice in this controlled, maintained environment complete with an FAA control tower. The airport is never too busy, so students don’t have to feel nervous when they take to the skies.

We invite you to start the pathway to a commercial pilot career today!

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"I was looking for very good customer service, good location, plenty of airplanes to train in, and good weather. I found everything I was looking for in CFA."
–Luis Manuel Gómez Hernández, CFA Graduate, Mexico
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