Associate of Applied Science

Aircraft Operations (Flight)

65 Credits
  • Degree combines the theory and the practical application that are needed to begin a career as a commercial pilot
  • Learn skills applicable for a flight operations position in the aviation industry and other aviation-related government agencies

Preparing for a Career in Flight Operations

Vaughn’s aircraft operations associate degree program combines the theory and practical application that are needed to begin a career as a commercial pilot. Our strong focus on career preparation exposes students to a wide variety of hands-on training and skill-building that allows them to become successful in their careers. Whether you are flying for the first time, or continuing your experience in flight operations, you are applicable to pursue the aircraft operations degree.

The primary objective of this program is to prepare graduates for entry-level flight operation positions in the aviation industry and aviation-related government agencies. Graduates build the necessary foundation to pursue other aviation programs at Vaughn, including the aircraft operations and aeronautical sciences bachelor’s degrees.

US News & World Report Vaughn College best regional college in the north 2024 TOP REGIONAL COLLEGE

Vaughn provides students with invaluable experiences that help prepare them for lifelong careers.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guides the technical contents of the aircraft operations associate degree curriculum. Vaughn’s FAA-qualified faculty carry out flight simulator training and pilot ground school as part of the program.

Students who are on the path to becoming FAA-certified pilots must meet the requirements of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Students wishing to complete any flight certificates must obtain, at a minimum, a Class III medical certificate from an FAA-examiner prior to undertaking this program in addition to taking practical flight training. Flight training, however, is not required to complete this program. Students often choose to continue what they’ve learned here by moving on to the bachelor’s program, where flight training is required after one year, with a grade point average of 3.0.

Sample Classes
  • Advanced Aeronautics
  • Advanced Aircraft Systems for Pilots
  • Aviation Safety
  • Aviation Weather
  • General Aeronatuics and Simulator Lab
  • Intermediate Aeronautics and Simulator Lab


Graduates of the aircraft operations (flight) associate degree program can move on to have successful careers in airport operations, fueling/servicing, air taxi service, small aircraft operations and air tour operations.

Vaughn College’s extensive network of alumni in a variety of fields, along with its positive reputation with nearby airports and airlines, has allowed students to pursue both internships during their degree work, and full-time jobs after graduation. Our career services department employs a variety of tools to assist students and alumni in their development as professionals.


Just a few of the companies that employ Vaughn graduates:

  • Atlas Air, Inc.
  • Cape Air
  • jetBlue Airways
  • L3 Airline Academy
  • Talon Air
  • The Washington Consulting Group

A sample of Vaughn internships:

  • American Dynamics
  • Atlas Air
  • Disney College Program
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • FAA (Enterprise Data and Messaging Engineering Team)
  • FAA (Tech Center)
  • Federal Express
  • FlightSafety International
  • General Electric
  • International Business Machines (IBM)
  • Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
  • NASA
  • NASA (Marshall Space Flight Center)
  • Navair (Naval Air Systems Command)
  • NBC
  • NYU Engineering Summer Research
  • Rashid Petroleum Company
  • Sikorsky Helicopters
  • Textron Aviation
  • United Airlines
  • Venture Aerobearings
  • Watertown Airport