Troy University, the city of Troy, and Mauna Loa Helicopters have agreed to create a training program for commercial aviators at N. Kenneth Campbell Field in Troy, the university announced.
The program will allow students at Troy University to earn a minor in aviation operations in either fixed-wing or rotary-wing tracks. The program will begin this fall.
“We are excited to bring into creation the first academic program at Troy that is designed to train pilots, although our roots in aviation – particularly military aviation – are deep,” said Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. “Southeast Alabama, with Fort Rucker, Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin and the aviation program at Enterprise-Ozark Community College, is the hub of Alabama aviation. I am proud that Troy – with this partnership – will play a role in continuing this tradition.”
The minor is part of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Resource Management and Technology and students can choose an associate’s degree program or the four-year BAS degree.
Troy said the aviation industry estimates it will need as many as 90,000 new pilots, both fixed-wing and rotary, over the next 10 years in North America. Internationally, that number is expected to exceed 200,000 over the next 20 years. In China alone, some 77,000 commercial pilots will be needed by 2032.
Troy University said it will create a dual-degree and enrollment program with the Pike County Board of Education that will be the first of its kind. This fall, five high school juniors will enter the associate degree program, and two years later will graduate with a high school diploma, an associate degree, and a private pilot’s license.
Students enrolled in the university minor in Aviation Operations can choose the Helicopter Flight-Training Emphasis or Airplane Flight-Training Emphasis where they will be able to obtain Private Pilot Certification Licensure and Commercial Pilot Certification Licensure. Students also may choose to pursue introduction to Unmanned Aerial (Aircraft) Systems (UAS).
“Troy University is now poised to be an integral part of south Alabama’s emerging ‘aviation corridor’ spurred by Airbus in Mobile,” Dr. Hawkins said.
The new program announced May 9 included as participants N. Kenneth Campbell, Troy Mayor Jason Reeves, Chancellor Hawkins, Mauna Loa Helicopters President Ben Fouts, and Mauna Loa consultant Kim McCabe. Mauna Loa in Honolulu has been training pilots for more than 20 years and is the program’s vendor to teach private and commercial aviation.