Flying School Airfields

Aviation Schools in Alabama

Aviation School / July 12, 2022

The Alabama Aviation Center is the only post-secondary aviation training facility authorized by the Alabama State Board of Education. The center has locations in Enterprise, Ozark, Mobile, Andalusia, Decatur, and Albertville. Another training program is set to open at the Fairhope airport in January 2014.

Nancy Chandler, president of Enterprise State Community College, said the courses that will be offered there are avionics and airframe and powerplant maintenance. “These students will be trained to enter a workforce in aerospace — an industry that will not only provide these students a good career, but also enhance the quality of life for their families, ” she said. “These courses and this program will enhance the community’s economic development initiatives.”

Baldwin County Public Schools Superintendent Alan Lee said plans for the center have been five years in the making. Partners in the venture are Faulkner State Community College, Enterprise State, the Fairhope Airport Authority and the Baldwin County Board of Education.

“This facility is going to train young people for a career, ” Lee said. “It will give them skills they will use for the rest of their lives and will change the model of how we do education in Baldwin County, the State of Alabama, junior colleges, communities, the state, and schools – who all must come together to bring a dream to fruition.”

Plans are also under way to develop the state’s first program to teach maintenance on unmanned aircraft, systems, one of the fastest growing aviation segments. Only two other programs of its kind exist in the United States, none in the Southeast. Courses in advanced composites and simulator maintenance are also planned.

The Alabama Aviation Center — a division of Enterprise State Community College — will launch the program January 2014 with $360, 000 in initial grant funding from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. Program graduates will be certified technicians qualified in both manned and unmanned aircraft maintenance.

The unmanned program has already received support from area industries that see a need for this training. “The challenge of converting a manned helicopter into an unmanned-only aerial vehicle requires skills that are not taught in traditional aviation mechanic training programs, ” said Barry Ford, general manager of Bell Helicopter-Ozark. “The Alabama Aviation Center’s creation of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Maintenance Program will provide immediate and lasting benefits to its students, the local economy, and industry alike.”

According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International project, about 23, 000 unmanned aircraft systems jobs will be created during the next 15 years and most of these jobs will be in manufacturing and with related suppliers.

In the past six years, student enrollment has grown by more than 210 percent at Alabama Aviation Center in Ozark alone, showing the tremendous interest Alabama workers have in the aerospace and aviation industries. The college has 1, 100 students.

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