I'm looking to start PPL training soon, and the closest airfield is Austin-Bergstrom International, which is a class C. The only downside I see to doing training at KAUS is that the few PPL programs there has planes no smaller than 172's, which is 15% more costly than the alternative PA-38 at an airfield 30 miles north, or marginally cheaper 172's 30 miles south in San Marcos. Instructor rates are roughly equal. 150/2's don't seem to exist around here.

So the question is, are there advantages to training in a class C that make up for the cost difference? What disadvantages do you foresee?


  • $\begingroup$ Other than being more comfortable with ATC, there really is none. There are pros and cons on both sides. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Nov 26, 2020 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ The question isn't asking "which is better," which would be asking for opinions; it asks for a statement of the advantages & disadvantages, which is answerable with objective factors. While different pilots may hold differing opinions if training at a Class C airport is a better option, they can probably agree on the factors involved: more congestion, more exposure to ATC, longer taxi routes, wide vs narrow runways, etc. Voting to keep open. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Nov 26, 2020 at 20:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Being more comfortable with ATC at the primary training stage is a huge advantage for a pilot, IMO. $\endgroup$ Nov 26, 2020 at 21:43
  • $\begingroup$ The only obvious advantage is less travel time. Whether being comfortable with ATC is much of an advantage depends on where you intend to do most of your flying. And the disadvantage is that the cost might be more (even if hourly rates are the same) since at a busy airport you'll spend more time waiting for other traffic. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Nov 26, 2020 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ A possible disadvantage is getting TOO used to ATC services, to the point where you might forget etiquette (and safety) when flying into an uncontrolled airport. In other words, don't forget your due diligence of saying who you are, where you are, and what your plan is, at an uncontrolled airport, simply because there's no tower to call. $\endgroup$
    – atc_ceedee
    May 16, 2021 at 18:51


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