Steve Sweitzer THE LASCO PRESS
New Flight School Opens at Flint Bishop Airport
September 11, 2019
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  • Innovators recognize a need and develop a solution to meet the shortfall. Crosswinds Aviation is moving Flint Bishop Airport into the national forefront with a program to address a critical need in the aviation industry.

    Flint Bishop Airport announced the opening of a new business and flight school. Crosswinds Aviation is the newest tenant at the airport. Not only is it another new business to the area but it is one that will hopefully help fill a nationwide shortage for pilots. Crosswinds is partnering with the Genesee Career Institute to offer a high school flight program to Genesee County students. Roughly thirty students started the High School Flight Program on Monday (September 9, 2019).

    Pilot Shortage

    The United States is facing a serious shortage of airline pilots which has and continues to impact regional airports like Flint Bishop. “We are in need of young aspiring aviators and we are very hopeful Crosswinds Aviation will help spur excitement in our region about aviation career opportunities,” said Nino Sapone, Interim Flint Bishop Airport Director.

    Austin Sawicki, a Powers High School Senior, and Kelcie Stevens, a Grand Blanc High School Senior, are in the first class at Crosswinds. Kelcie has been interested in aviation for several years now and is thrilled this new class will expose her to different parts of the industry, “I really want to fly a plane – even if I can’t be a commercial pilot, but I would like to.” Like many other students, Austin was on a waiting list for the class. “I’ve wanted to be a pilot for as long as I can remember. My mom found out about this class and I wanted to sign up immediately.”

    Course Fundamentals

    The students will have an introduction to many aspects of the industry along with 10 hours of free simulator time and computer-based ground training. Matt and Andrea Dahline own and operate Crosswinds which has two other locations in the state. Their high school program is one of few like it. “Usually about 50% of the students actually pursue aviation careers. And many of them wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to aviation,” said Matt Dahline.

    About Crosswinds Aviation

    As the owners of Crosswinds Aviation Matt and Andrea are passionate about providing high-quality flight training, teaching the right attitude towards flying and exposing as many people as possible to what aviation has to offer.

    The company utilizes aircraft with the latest in avionics technology to ensure pilots have all the latest resources available today for reduced workload and good decision-making. The aircraft are also maintained and cleaned to the highest possible standards to ensure distractions are reduced to a minimum.

    Matt and Andrea strongly believe, and data proves, that if pilots have the right training and are taught good judgment, general aviation flying is extremely safe. They are also extremely committed to getting middle and high school students exposed and interested in aviation. Most importantly, Matt and Andrea are incredibly client-focused and will always do everything possible to make sure pilot flight training and plane rental experiences are the best.

    About Flint Bishop International Airport

    Flint Bishop International Airport (FNT) guarantees air passengers all of the destination options of a larger airport while flying from the comfort of a relaxing and beautiful facility. Flint features all-jet service, with flights provided by Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. Their airline partners provide many nonstop flights to popular destinations across the country that will also connect travelers around the world, usually in one stop or less. For reservations and flight information from Flint, visit their website at