CHICAGO, IL – October 17th, 2023 – Spartan Education Group, LLC (“Spartan”), a leading provider of aviation education headquartered in Chicago, announced today the acquisition of Illinois Aviation Academy, Inc. (“IAA”), a prominent flight school located west of Chicago at DuPage County Airport (“KDPA”). This acquisition furthers Spartan’s efforts to address the ongoing national pilot shortage in the United States.
According to Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook 2023-2042, the aviation industry is facing unprecedented challenges with a shortage of pilots and aviation mechanics. Spartan is committed to distinguishing itself as a source of top talent for employers in the U.S. aviation industry. The acquisition of IAA expands one of Spartan's core offerings, providing FAA approved Part 141 flight training.
Founded over 30 years ago by Robert Werderich, IAA is a well-established flight school in the Chicagoland area. "We’ve built a great flight school, but now is the time to take IAA to the next level. Spartan brings resources and expertise to accelerate IAA’s growth and enable more students to prepare for an exciting career in aviation,” said Werderich.
IAA’s unwavering dedication to continuous training for students and staff has earned accolades, including the 2018 City Brilliance in Business award from West Chicago. The institution has secured the title of Distinguished and Outstanding Flight School five times, most recently in 2022, and has received five Distinguished Flight Instructor awards, the latest in 2023, from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (“AOPA”). Adding to its impressive list of achievements, IAA is poised for induction into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame in October 2023. These distinctions align with Spartan’s commitment to delivering excellent education and training to its students.
Beyond training, IAA has been deeply committed to community involvement. Werderich highlighted the importance of giving back, stating, "Community involvement has been a backbone of IAA from the beginning." The school has actively supported aviation youth programs in West Chicago, contributing to organizations like The Ninety-Nines, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Explorer Scouts, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Tuskegee NEXT.
Rob Polston, CEO of Spartan Education Group, expressed his enthusiasm for the acquisition, saying, "This marks a pivotal moment for Spartan. With Illinois Aviation joining our family, we are expanding access and strengthening our commitment to shaping the next generation of pilots. Together, we will continue to address the pilot shortage and provide the industry with aviation professionals." The acquisition is expected to enhance Spartan’s capabilities, broaden its training offerings, and reinforce its position as a leading institution in aviation education.
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Spartan Education Group, LLC (SEG), headquartered in Chicago IL, acquired Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in 2012. Spartan College, established in 1928, has trained over 100,000 pilots and aviation technicians at its four campuses located in the following areas: Tulsa OK, Los Angeles and Riverside CA, and Denver CO. Additionally, SEG owns McAir Aviation flight school in Broomfield CO.
Located in West Chicago IL at DuPage County Airport (KDPA), the Illinois Aviation Academy (IAA) has been training pilots for three decades. Today, IAA's training facility spans 30,000 square feet, and houses a fleet of over twenty-five aircraft, including the Cessna 172 and the advanced Cirrus SR-22. IAA provides FAA approved Part 141 flight training.
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