Top Online Courses in Aviation

You are a student. A student with a lot of time on your hands. It could be because of summer break, or because of Covid-19. Maybe even both.

Maybe you have read our article on how to make the most out of your time during Covid-19 as an aviation student. The truth is that your looking for ways to invest your time in developing yourself & taking one more step towards achieving your dream job.

In this article, we share with you some of the best online aviation training platforms & aviation courses you could take. We will compare & summarize for you the differences between each platform, share with you discounts & coupons, & tell you exactly which courses could take for free!


Here is a quick summary:

1- ACI: 25% discount  – Free course & Free Certificate
2- IATA: Occasional Discount
3- ICAO: Free Course
4- ERAU: Free Course & Free Badge
5- Civil Aviation Authorities & Government Entities.

1- Airports Council International ( ACI )

If you were looking for a Free Aviation Course to take that awards you a Free certificate then ACI should be your first stop.

They Offer a course called ” Combatting Human Trafficking ” which I really enjoyed taking. Its completely free of cost, & most importantly, they give you a certificate after you pass the quiz with an 80% passing grade. Don’t worry though, their quizzes are relatively easy. I share my experience passing 4 ACI courses in a later blog where I give you some pointers & tips on how to make the most out of your learning experience there.

When visiting their website, you’ll see that ACI has about 88 online courses that are aviation related & can be taken on demand. This means once you purchase & register for the course you will be able to take it when ever you want. Their courses are split into 2 major categories

1- Certificate:

  • More in-depth knowledge
  • Longer time needed (Ex. 8 hrs )
  • More Expensive ( Ex. $300 USD )

2- Short Course:

  • General Knowledge
  • Less time needed ( Ex. 1.5 – 3 hrs )
  • Less Expensive (Ex. $25-$125)

The prices and & course duration are just estimates. You could find their catalogue of all their aviation courses & topics here.

They also have a current 25% discount by using their coupon code: OLC2025

Its worth noting that ACI’s courses tend to be airports-oriented. If this is what your looking for, then you can visit their website here. Unfortunately, this means that you wont find any courses that are airline oriented. If that was your niche, then check out #2. Keep an eye for a future blog featuring the best value courses we recommend you take from ACI.

2- IATA Training

Even though IATA is more airline oriented, they still offer courses in all fields of aviation. From air law, to safety, & from operations to management, they have it all. Their programs are split into 3 categories:

1- Classroom

  • Attend course at assigned time & location
  • Instructor led
  • Supervised exam

2- Self Study:

  • On-demand electronic studying
  • Read from book or slides on your own
  • Unsupervised online exam

3- Virtual Classroom:

  • Attend course at assigned time through virtual meeting
  • Instructor led
  • Online supervised exam

They offer occasional discounts on some of their courses. Make sure you follow them on their Linkedin page here to get updates on upcoming discounts. Their discounts have seat limits so make sure to check regularly. 

In terms of pricing, they are pretty expensive for students , scaling from around $125 for their Basic Airside Safety course to $500 for other self study courses, to an upwards of 1,000$ for instructor led, classroom courses. Note that there will be an exam for the majority of their courses, & upon passing that exam you will receive an IATA certificate which is pretty recognizable worldwide. You may access their website here.


In terms of ICAO, they also offer courses. They seem to have partnered with universities around the world to offer their courses. Their courses are free of charge, which means you may read & access the course material without paying, however if you desire to have an ICAO certificate, then you will pay a fee, sit for an exam, & after passing it, you will be granted a certificate from ICAO.  Their prices generally range about $100 USD if you were interested in sitting for an exam & earning a certificate from ICAO. You can access their website here.

4- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

If you were looking for a free aviation course, from a highly reputable university, to get a full overview about aviation & its knowledges, then this course from Embry-riddle aeronautical University is the perfect option for you.

Not only is the course free, & gives a good foundation in aviation but you could also earn a badge upon completion of the course.  It covers everything from aerodynamics , to airspace. You can access this course’s website here.

5- CAAs & Government Entities

We think its important to draw attention to government authorities. Many of them actually provide courses virtually to help candidates achieve governmental licenses for example. This can prove helpful if you have a particular field or specialty you would like to work in. We recommend you visit the website of your respective Civil Aviation Authority of your country & look around for the upcoming courses they offer.

One example is the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Their courses seem much more in-depth compared to courses offered by ACI for example. Their prices range about 400 Euros to upwards of 1000 Euros. If your interested, you could also benefit from their 10% discount on their upcoming courses in September & October. You can visit their website here.

Other government organization are worth taking a look at. Such organizations include the FAA, & the NTSB. For example, the NTSB offers online virtual classroom courses in topics related to investigations. If this is something your interested in you can take a look at their schedule here.

Did you know that IAFA student members receive a complimentary aviation course after they sign up?

At IAFA, we understand that one of the main concerns for students looking for online aviation courses is price. For that reason, our team is working hard to develop aviation courses that are affordable to everyone. In fact, our first 100 members will be offered a free complimentary course once its available online! You can help us reach this goal faster by sharing our content on social media & referring us to your student colleagues and industry connections.

We hope you found this post helpful. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts & comments down below.

Until next time; Stay Safe, Dream Big, & Keep Flying!

Abdul Rahman Al Jandali