The National Association of Flight Instructors on July 24 announced the launch of a professional development program aimed at helping certificated flight instructors strengthen their marketing and customer service skills.
The educational seminars and scenario-based simulator training kicked off at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The program, which includes a mentoring area so that CFIs can have one-on-one discussions with subject matter experts, is intended to bolster flight instructors’ customer service and marketing skills, among others.
The program was created in response to the dropout rate of student pilots, estimated to be as high as 80 percent.
“I don’t think there’s an issue with marketing to new students, but I think we have room as CFIs to help with the retention of existing students and customers,” said NAFI President Rick Todd.
The scenario-based simulator sessions are intended to provide real-life dual instruction challenges, with volunteer CFIs posing as students. They present instructors with “extreme behaviors and technical situations designed to assess their responses in how to manage these in-flight encounters,” NAFI said in a press release.
NAFI hopes to present its professional development programs at large airshows going forward, but in the interim the programs will be available free of charge to all flight instructors on the NAFI website. Most of the presentations are FAASTeam WINGS-approved, and several will be archived on FAASTeam TV.