More than 100 high schools applied, and 16 schools across the country, as well as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), will receive a total of USD350,000 to help enhance aviation programmes.
Schools exclusively associated with AOPA’s You Can Fly program were eligible to apply for a grant. The organisation’s ultimate goal is to help make aviation curriculum accessible and free to high school students across the nation.
“These Flight Education Grants help prepare our youth for future pilot careers,” said Brad Morrison, manager of pilot career recruiting, American Airlines. “The schools that were selected have the most innovative ideas of how to advance their aviation programmes, and providing grants of up to USD25,000 to each school will give their students access to valuable curriculum to help them develop into some of the best pilots in the industry. This will ultimately help fill the void in the not-so-distant future, as nearly half of the pilot population in the industry prepares to retire within the next 15 years.”
In 2019, high schools submitted proposals detailing how they plan to use the funds to further the mission of growing and diversifying the pilot pool. The schools that were chosen had the most effective and forward-thinking strategies.