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Tuskegee to receive $6.7 million in federal funds for flight school

March 27, 2024

Contact: Thonnia Lee, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing
   

Alabama Senator Katie Britt receives Tuskegee shirt gift from Tuskegee University President Dr. Charlotte P. Morris
Tuskegee President Dr. Charlotte P. Morris presents Tuskegee memorabilia to Senator Katie Britt.

Tuskegee, Alabama — Tuskegee University is pleased to announce it will introduce its new flight school degree program in the fall thanks to $6.7 million in federal funding sponsored by Alabama Senator Katie Britt.

Sen. Britt visited the campus on March 27 and reviewed plans for the Tuskegee Aviation Program with the university president, provost and deans. This flight school and degree program, which is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, will introduce aviation to a new generation, who have only heard about the legendary aviators through history of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Students will earn flight hours on Moton Field, where the Airmen flew and in campus classrooms.

“It was a pleasure to host Sen. Britt today,” said University President Dr. Charlotte P. Morris.  “We look forward to starting the program this fall after our proposal to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, our accrediting body, is reviewed. This program will create opportunities for young aviators who dream of spending their lives soaring through the skies – here and around the world. I think General Chappie James and Captain Alfred Anderson would both be proud.”

Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James Jr. was a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force who, in 1975, became the first African American to reach the rank of four-star general in the Air Force.  Charles Alfred Anderson Sr., known as the father of Black Aviation, was the chief flight instructor of the Tuskegee Airmen.  

Tuskegee’s new program will offer a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Science (pilot track) with two components. The first component includes general education core and aviation science related courses in aerodynamics, aircraft structures, aircraft propulsion, performance stability and control as well as meteorology. The second component is flight training where students will be able to take the appropriate FAA certification for private and commercial pilot certificates.

The university is optimistic that the new flight program will help an industry where the pilot shortage is expected to worsen as demand for air travel continues to grow. 

“The most exciting part is the opportunity to train our students to become pilots,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Provost and Senior Vice President. “In the tradition of General Chappie James and the Tuskegee Airmen, we will continue the tradition of excellence in Aviation.”

Dr. Hargrove said the university will start with about 25 students and expects to grow to more than 200 in the aviation program.

“Our Strategic Plan has specific objectives to identify academic programs in high demand for industry and for the workforce,” said Dr. Hargrove. “Some estimates say there is an annual demand for about 10,000 to 15,000 pilots annually for the next decade.”

  

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