RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation, through a $1 million State Aid to Airports grant, has partnered with Currituck Regional Airport in Barco and the College of the Albemarle in the creation of a training facility for future aviation workers.
The grant that was awarded last year assisted the airport in building a new apron that will support the community college’s new 40,000 square foot, $7.1 million Regional Aviation & Technical Training Center. The rest of the state funds will be used to extend the airport’s taxiway.
“Any time we can provide funding to grow our future aerospace workforce and improve one of our airports, it is a winning situation,” said Deputy Secretary for Transit Richard Walls. “This strong collaboration to open this facility will have an impact on future aviation jobs in North Carolina.”
The Center, located next to the general aviation airport, includes four aviation labs, a hangar, four classrooms and a library. Students can pull planes up on the apron and into the building to learn how to make repairs.
“The aviation industry is a vital economic sector in North Carolina,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. “Aviation companies need a highly skilled workforce to succeed and grow. Students who complete the programs here at this new state-of-the-art facility will have the skills and knowledge they need to pursue careers where the sky’s the limit.”
Students can receive two-year degrees in computer integrated machining, aviation systems technology, architectural technology or mechanical engineering technology through the facility. Aviation systems technology degrees also provide Federal Aviation Administration certification.
“Everything about this project has involved cooperation and partnership, especially from our friends at NCDOT and the Division of Aviation, who immediately recognized the value of supporting this FAA-certified training facility,” said Currituck County Director of Economic Development Peter Bishop. “The Center is a key asset in Currituck County’s economic and workforce development strategy, but it’s also central to Governor Pat McCrory’s vision for growing jobs throughout North Carolina by delivering a highly-skilled labor pool that’s ready for industry.”
State Aid to Airports is NCDOT’s grant program that provides funds for the purpose of planning, acquiring, constructing or improving municipal, county and other publicly owned or controlled airports, and to authorize related programs of aviation safety, promotions and long-range planning.
Currituck County Regional Airport is a general aviation facility that has an approximate $10.1 million a year cumulative total impact on North Carolina and supports nearly 40 jobs, based on a 2012 statewide economic impact study.