California Aeronautical University opens new campus at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa

A new flight school in the Valley at Mesa's Falcon Field Airport near Falcon Drive and McKellips Road is open and ready for those looking to become a pilot.

California Aeronautical University has three other locations in California. CAU's president, Matt Johnston, says the Valley is top notch when it comes to flying instruction. He says with the pilot shortage, they’re hoping to help fill the void.

Johnston says the university is a one-stop-shop for those looking to learn to fly. He says the condensed program is a perfect pipeline for those coming right out of high school or people looking to make a career change.


"Students that come to the university can finish an associate's degree in less that two years in about 18 months and they can finish a bachelor's degree in three years. We can really get things done quickly, which helps students with costs when it comes to the flight training environment."

Everything is done in-house and with the latest technology, students see what flying is like before even taking to the skies.

"It’s a sim that we can simulate flying in different conditions so we can start with students down here in the sim and they get comfortable with different procedures and check out flying before they even leave the ground. Then we can jump in the plane and do the same thing," said on-site flight instructor James Manzo.

If flying the traditional plane isn't your thing, there are other options.

"One thing that’s exciting here at Falcon Field, we’re going to be introducing our first helicopter option. Students who are choosing to do our bachelor's program in aeronautics, they can either choose to do a fix wing or a helicopter route and flow right into different employment opportunities right after that," explained Johnston.

Classes have already started. For more information, head to

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