SunWest Aviation, Inc. is proud to be an authorized provider under the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Alien Flight Student Program. SunWest has been authorized by the TSA to provide Flight Instruction to non-U.S. citizens after they have been approved through the TSA. This TSA rule applies to all non-U.S. citizens who are seeking any new rating, whether it be an initial Private Pilot, or an Instrument or Multiengine Rating. All other training events on aircraft with Maximum Takeoff Weight of 12,500 lbs. or less are exempt from AFSP regulations, including CPL, ATP, CFI, CFII and MEI.  Licensed pilots seeking BFRs or who simply want to rent an airplane are not required to obtain TSA approval.  You will however need to have your foreign pilot's license verified by the Federal Aviation Administrion.  Details of the process can be found at the FAA website.

This is the link to the TSA's step-by-step Application Guide. We recommend that you print this guide for reference as you proceed through the TSA process.

The first step in the TSA process is to log on to the TSA Alien Flight Student Program web site. Click on the "Create New Student Account" link below the Login and Password boxes at the top right of the page.

Some Basic Information that you will need:

  • SunWest Aviation only provides Flight Training under Category 3 of the TSA program, which covers aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less.

  • Under Step 7 of the Application Guide: SunWest Aviation does not provide a Course ID#.  Under the Course ID# field please enter "101".

  • The Course Name and Course Description fields will be one of the following: "Private Pilot License", "Instrument Rating" or "Multi-Engine Rating"

  • The AFSP considers the Start and End dates an estimate. Once Candidate receives approval, they have 180 days to begin training and 365 days to finish.

  • The TSA will likely advise you that the nearest authorized fingerprinting location is in the Los Angeles area. This is not true. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office has done the fingerprinting for most of our Foreign Students for their TSA approval.

  • SunWest Aviation does not offer helicopter training. If you are interested in helicopter training, we recommend HeliPro. Visit them on the internet at

If you have any questions regarding SunWest Aviation's participation in the TSA Alien Flight Student Program, please contact us at