The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation recently awarded $3,000 grants to 10 airports to assist with hosting aviation and aerospace-themed summer academies for middle and high school students.
The rapid growth of the aerospace and unmanned aircraft system sectors offers many job opportunities for North Carolinians in the aerospace field. The 2023 Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy Grant Program aims to inspire and expose the next generation of talent to those careers.
The following airports were awarded ACE Academy grants:
- Currituck County Regional Airport in Currituck County;
- Curtis L. Brown, Jr. Field in Bladen County;
- Fayetteville Regional Airport in Cumberland County;
- Henderson-Oxford Airport in Granville County and Triangle North Executive Airport in Franklin County will partner to host an academy;
- Kinston Regional Jetport in Lenoir County;
- Smith Reynolds Airport in Forsyth County;
- Statesville Regional Airport in Iredell County;
Washington-Warren Airport in Beaufort County, which will offer two camps, with one focused on traditional aviation and another on drones; and Wilmington International Airport in New Hanover County.
Academy topics include aviation history, career discovery and planning, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or drones). Academies feature various activities, such as hands-on drone and airplane flight simulations and trips to aerospace fields.
Academies prioritize exploring high-demand aviation and aerospace careers, such as manned and unmanned aircraft pilots, aircraft technicians, electronics, including coding and programming, avionics, air traffic controllers and engineers. Academies will also explore how students can gain education and credentials through North Carolina’s community college and university programs to pursue those professions.
Parents and students interested in participating in this year’s ACE Academies can learn more by visiting the NCDOT website and searching ACE Academies.