Are there any statistics on the most popular states to do private pilot flight training in the USA or a similar measure?

I know Florida is very well visited, but I was wondering if there were other states which also have high number of students.

  • $\begingroup$ By statistics do you mean number of student pilots getting enrolled, or percentage of students getting their PPL? $\endgroup$
    – Farhan
    Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 3:45
  • $\begingroup$ Enrolled students would be great :) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 2, 2014 at 9:40

3 Answers 3


The FAA has a document on their website which breaks knowledge tests down by FSDO rather than state, and it gives a good idea of where the most training is taking place.

It is called: 2013 Airmen Knowledge Tests by Region and FSDO, and lists the following Regions/FSDO's as processing the most knowledge tests (in descending order)1:

Southern 28,333
Orlando 9,996
South Florida 5,958
Alabama & NW Florida 4,680
Atlanta 3,882
Tampa 2,504

Western Pacific 18,416
Scottsdale 6,053
Riverside 1,556
San Diego 1,463
Sacramento 1,460
Long Beach 1,327
Fresno 1,270
Los Angeles 1,142
San Jose 1,121

Southwest 15,943
Dallas 2,731
Fort Worth 2,581
Houston 2,438
Oklahoma City 2,347
San Antonio 2,321

Eastern 14,552
Richmond 1,956
Greensboro 1,366
Farmingdale 1,280
Philadelphia 1,198
New York City 1,069
Boston 1,041

Great Lakes 11,860
Fargo 2,120
Dupage 1,414
Indianapolis 1,358
Minneapolis 1,142
East Michigan 1,111

Northwest Mountain 9,784
Denver 2,205
Portland 2,131
Salt Lake City 1,964
Seattle 1,611

Central 9,019
Nashville 4,293
Wichita 1,304

Alaskan 812

Based on this data, I would say that the areas surrounding the Orlando, Scottsdale, South Florida, Alabama & NW Florida, Nashville, and Atlanta FSDO's are the most popular training areas, with the Southern region being the most popular by far.

1 To improve readability, all FSDO's with less than 1,000 tests have been removed. See the source data for the complete list.

  • $\begingroup$ Excepting Alaska with only 812 State-wide. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 18:01

There are two popular areas: 1) Where you live. Most pilots desiring to fly for fun train near their home and family, and 2) Where the weather is good. aka somewhere down south, Arizona and Florida are the most popular. Why? Fewer no-fly days. There is a reason that ERAU has branches in Florida and Arizona.


I used to train in the Phoenix area. Very busy. Lots of Chinese, Vietnamese, Dutch, Germans, Englishmen etc. (CAE Oxford, KLM Flight Academy (although I believe they recently ceased their training facility there) and many others. I'm sure this will not satisfy as an answer since these are all CPL training facilities and not PPL. Thought it would be interesting to share though. Cheers.


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