ROCHESTER, N.Y. — ​Future pilots now have another place to learn to fly in Western New York. OnCore Aviation in Rochester is now operating schools in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Rochester.

Todd Cameron grew up flying out of a grass field in Palmyra. Now he flies just about any size aircraft, anywhere. He’s sharing his passion for aviation with his company OnCore Aviation. Cameron says that even while commercial airlines face unprecedented economic challenges, general aviation and flight training operations are growing.

What You Need To Know

  • OnCore Aviation, LLC is a Rochester-based flight school that opened in 2016

  • OnCore now operates flight schools in Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Falls

  • Record pilot retirements are projected that will increase the demand for new pilots

"This is a lot like buying a stock when it’s down," said Cameron. "The shortage from all the retirees still exists. The demand to travel is going to resurge, and even our youngest of students are absolutely optimistic that in three years there is going to be almost 300,000 pilots needed."

Aviation student Sam Kramer is an RIT advertising and public relations grad who is switching career paths. He is 105 hours into his 1,500 hours of training to be a regional airline pilot.

"My first solo flight was September 2019," said Kramer. "The first solo flight was such a fun and fascinating feeling, looking over right after you take off, and the seat is empty where the instructor usually is. It is just the plane, and it is just a wild feeling. I am really excited.

"My goal is the airlines in about two or three years’ time. COVID-19 has sort of slowed that down for the industry, and the entire world and not just for us, but I think once that passes we will be on the right track. Airlines we will recover, it is just a matter of time."

OnCore Aviation wants to inspire more younger students to consider careers in aviation. OnCore uses modern flight training with simulator time, ground instruction, and self-study.

"There are so many directions they can go as a pilot, or as a mechanic, or as a manager of a business at an airport," said Cameron. "All of those skills that they likely have never thought of, apply in this direction and can be a real opportunity."

OnCore Aviation has introductory flight lessons, home school simulator programs, and other flight experiences available. OnCore Aviation's Rochester flight school is located at 1205 Scottsville Road in Rochester.