Future Aviation Standard: Digital Flight Planning Coming to ISAE

NEW IBERIA – South Louisiana Community College’s International School of Aviation Excellence in New Iberia is streamlining cockpit workflows in its helicopter fleet.

The ISAE recently received nearly $20,000 in grant funds from the Louisiana Board of Regents to purchase iPads, planning software, GPS systems, and mounting devices. 

“Our students will have working knowledge of digital flight planning and performance calculations using systems that are emerging as the future standard in aviation,” said Austin Crumley, Assistant Director of Aviation. “These systems will also promote increased safety through increased situational awareness.”

Specifically, planning software and GPS systems will provide real-time GPS positioning on current aviation charts with overlays of real-time weather and traffic. This will give instructors and students the ability to maintain required space from inclement weather and other aircraft while conducting training in the National Airspace System.

The purchase of this equipment and software packages will also reduce the use of paper. “Paper charts and certain aeronautical publications are subject to regular updates and must be replaced with new editions,” said Crumley. “The transition to a paperless cockpit increases efficiency by streamlining cockpit workflow through one system and increases flight safety.”

Each ISAE helicopter will be equipped with an iPad, ForeFlight planning software, and a Stratus GPS system. Instructors will maintain the equipment when in use and they will also train their students to operate the equipment safely and effectively.

The ISAE trains aviation students to become instrument-rated commercial pilots and certificated flight instructors. SLCC’s Associate Degree of Applied Science in Helicopter Aviation includes general education courses, classroom-based ground school, and helicopter flight instruction with individual, tutored sessions. Upon program completion, graduates of ISAE's professional pilot and associate degree program will earn a college degree along with the following Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificates and ratings:

  • Private Pilot Certificate
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Pilot Certificate
  • Flight Instructor Certificate
  • Flight Instructor – Instrument Rating
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Helicopter Aviation

For more information about enrolling in the ISAE Helicopter Aviation program, call (337) 373-0106.



South Louisiana Community College is a comprehensive community college that operates campuses in Abbeville, Crowley, Franklin, Lafayette, Morgan City, New Iberia, Opelousas, St. Martinville, and Ville Platte. The college serves more than 13,000 students annually and offers an array of academic programs. Students earn associate degrees, technical diplomas, certificates, and industry-based certifications. It is ranked 14th among the Top 100 Associate Degree Producers as determined by Community College Week.