State dignitaries are in northeastern North Carolina this morning for the official opening of the new Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center in Currituck County.
Currituck County has been waiting a long time for this Aviation and Technical Training Center and it took a lot of money to make it happen - $7.1 million.
The state-of-the-art, 37,000 square foot facility is more than a classroom. Peter Bishop is director of Economic Development for Currituck County and oversees the airport. He says they’re counting on the training center to serve as an economic engine.
“Aviation and manufacturing are two of our target industries here in Currituck County. So we want to grow those jobs and we felt we had a great opportunity in building this facility for that to be an attractor," said Bishop.
The aviation center is a partnership between Currituck County and College of The Albemarle. Graduates of the FAA certified program can expect to make at least $60,000 a year. Bishop says registration is on target.
"The demand has been pretty solid. We've got an entirely full fall semester class and a waiting list that's been put together already," said Bishop. "And the continuing education classes, the demand for those are continuing to grow and grow and grow."
The college has acquired two airplanes for students to work on in the classroom- a Cherokee 140 and a Cessna Commuter. The training center is one of four in North Carolina certified by the FAA.