In a first of its kind approach, an innovative professional and technical aviation training center focused on business aviation will launch at Opa-Locka Airport in Florida next year.
Pioneered by passionate industry leaders, businesses and Capt. Barrington Irving, a 2019 NBAA American Spirit Award Winner, the training center will be used to train professional and technical aviation vocations to local, national and international students.
The new facility will be specifically designed to cultivate talent in business aviation – training students for hire to local, national and international businesses and organizations.
Partners in the training center include NBAA, Miami-Dade County Vice Chair Oliver Gilbert, III, Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Atlantic Aviation and Bombardier.
“NBAA is thrilled to join Capt. Barrington Irving and our partners in business aviation in this new endeavor to grow and cultivate talent in the industry,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said.
“This pioneering new initiative displays our commitment to the future of business aviation, ensuring that we have trained and highly specialized talent to support the industry’s increasing growth and demand worldwide.”
The training center will offer innovative programs and training approaches, along with specialized technical and professional certifications.
The center will also incorporate critical tools and resources from NBAA for enrolled students. Partners are aiming to enroll 100 students in the South Florida area next year.
Flying Classroom and Experience Aviation organizations founded by Capt. Irving have led to more than 200 direct student hires in business aviation – from hosting community events across the country at fixed base operators (FBOs), to providing educational content developed for industry partners and developing dynamic recruitment initiatives.
Capt. Irving is a proud champion of business aviation following his Guinness World Record breaking flight around the world in 2007.
“I not only utilize business aviation to grow our company and recruit students to our industry, but I, along with our partners, are living testimony of how business aviation can help you achieve your highest self,” Irving said.
“Business aviation has so much to offer, and our stories need to be told more often in order for new students to learn and grow from tangible experiences.”
The collaboration, which involves several local entities from South Florida and national partners, is also seeking to add other partners – from small to large companies and organizations – to showcase various aspects of business aviation.
“I am extremely excited about the launch of this phenomenal program; training our future pilots, engineers, technicians, and business leaders in the aviation industry,” Miami-Dade County’s Vice Chair Gilbert said.
“It has been an honor to work with a trailblazer like Captain Irving to bring this to life.
“The aviation sector is growing rapidly and with Urban Air Mobility technology on the horizon, we must be innovative and prepare for what’s to come.
“This training facility will position the youth in our community to take full advantage of all the opportunities that the aviation industry has to offer.”
Additional details are expected to be revealed at the NBAA Miami-Opa Locka Regional Forum being held on Feb. 8, 2023.