About AABI

What is the Aviation Accreditation Board International?

The Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) was created in 1988 at the initiative of 100 colleges and universities with aviation programs who recognized the need to establish standards and submit themselves to the review of their peers and the industry.  Its purpose is to serve as the official accrediting body for all collegiate aviation.

 Accreditation is a system for recognizing educational institutions and/or their professional programs that achieve and maintain a level of performance, integrity and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community, the industry and the public they serve.

To achieve accreditation, aviation programs must satisfy the expectations of a wide range of quality criteria relating to strategic management of resources, interactions of faculty and students in the educational process and achievement of degree learning goals.  An AABI team of academic and industry members visits the institution seeking accreditation to evaluate the programs against accreditation standards and criteria.



Initially created as the Council on Aviation Accreditation (CAA), the non-profit organization was established in October 1988 with the first deliberations on accreditation actions in July 1992.  Four institutions with 14 programs were accredited, a humble beginning.

Then-CAA, the only non-governmental aviation accrediting organization of college and university aviation programs in the world, initiated the process for recognition in 1992.  The lengthy time to reach recognition status as a specialized, programmatic accrediting body, was the result of the dissolution of two prior recognition agencies.  When CHEA, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, founded in 1996, announced in 1999 that it was accepting applications, CAA promptly applied to start the two-year process.  CAA/AABI has maintained recognition status since 2002.

In a move to strengthen its position as the world’s leader in the advancement of aviation education, CAA announced a name change in March 2006.  The official transition was made at the Annual Meeting in July 2006 when it became CAA doing business as (dba) as the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).

This change culminated a two-year effort in furthering the Council’s commitment to its mission to advance quality aviation education worldwide through accreditation and leadership.  This change was also made to avoid confusion with foreign civil aviation government agencies, and to recognize the international scope of the organization.


The Aviation Accreditation Board International advances quality aviation education in partnership with industry.


AABI is instrumental in the development of the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals.


Accreditation is a system for recognizing educational institutions and/or their professional programs that achieve and maintain a level of performance, integrity and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community, the industry and the public they serve.

Accreditation has three fundamental purposes:

  1. To ensure the quality of the institution or program;
  2. To assist in the improvement of the institution or program; and
  3. To maintain relevance of education with the industry it serves.

Accreditation, which applies to institutions or programs, is to be distinguished from certification and licensure, which apply to individuals.

The bodies conducting institutional accreditation are regional or national in scope, and are comprised of institutions – or programs – that have achieved and maintained accredited status.  See “What is accreditation” for details on the types of accreditors.


The goals of AABI are to stimulate collegiate aviation program excellence and self-improvement; establish uniform minimum educational quality Criteria; and increase the credibility, integrity, and acceptance of collegiate aviation programs within institutions of higher education and all aspects of the aviation community, to include industry, government and the public-at-large.


    AABI’s current CHEA-approved scope of accreditation is, “to accredit non-engineering aviation programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels offered by colleges and universities throughout the world.”  The program-level options are:

    1. Aviation Management
    2. Aviation Maintenance
    3. Aviation Electronics/Avionics
    4. Aviation Studies
    5. Flight Education
    6. Safety Science
    7. Air Traffic Control
    8. Unmanned Aircraft Systems
    9. Graduate Studies
      • Master’s and doctoral programs

      How Can I Support AABI?

      You can make a difference in this important effort to ensure that tomorrow’s aviation professionals are the best and brightest – that they are prepared to meet the professional challenges facing them.  Students, educators and industry professionals can all become involved in helping AABI meet its goals.

      Prospective aviation students – and their parents – can select an AABI-accredited program for their educational endeavors.  Industry representatives can become members of AABI, give special recognition of and consideration to hiring graduates of AABI-accredited programs, and support and encourage aviation programs to seek accredited status.  Educators can become supporting members and encourage their institutions to seek accredited status.  ALL members can be active, contributing members through committee and Board service, and participate as part of a visiting team.