Republic Airways Holdings and its Leadership in Flight Training (LIFT) Academy plan to develop an advanced flight training program in Tuskegee, Alabama, that will prepare the next generation of aspiring pilots for career opportunities in the airline industry.

LIFT is teaming with Tuskegee University and the City of Tuskegee to base the training center at the storied Moton Field, where the pioneering Tuskegee Airmen received flight training before becoming the first African American military aviators during World War II.

Students in the LIFT program will train on the academy’s fleet of Diamond DA40-NG single-engine and Diamond DA42-VI twin-engine aircraft, as well as technologically advanced flight simulators.

“Alabama has a long history of providing critical flight training for military aviators, and historic Moton Field is the perfect location for a training center for a new generation of commercial pilots,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “The LIFT Academy is an ideal way to build on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airman by creating solid career opportunities for tomorrow’s pilots.”

Governor Ivey announced the flight training center during a ceremony at Moton Field Municipal Airport, where she was joined by officials from LIFT Academy and Republic Airways Holdings, representatives from Tuskegee University and state and local leaders.

As part of the project, LIFT will create 35 full-time aviation-related jobs in Tuskegee over a three-year period, with an average annual salary of nearly $75,000, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce. In addition, 57 certified flight instructors will be involved in the program at Moton Field.

The project calls for a capital investment of $27 million for aircraft.

The partnership between LIFT and Tuskegee University is designed to encourage, recruit and educate future African American pilots with first-rate in-classroom and in-flight instruction.

The program is designed to provide students with two certifications — a bachelor’s degree in aviation science from Tuskegee University, and a commercial multi-engine pilot license through LIFT Academy.

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