r According to a 2017 study by the world’s largest airplane manufacturer, Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, North America will need 117,000 airline pilots between now and 2036. Much has been written in the past couple of years about the current and future pilot shortage. There has never been a better time in the 114-year history of the airplane to become a professional pilot.
The Nebo School District Advanced Learning Center (ALC) in Salem is developing a unique high school aviation and pilot training program. The fabulous career opportunities are only part of what makes this program worthwhile. The mere thought of flying an airplane can be very motivating to students as an exciting endeavor that can add purpose to their lives. For school educators, this is an effective way to promote the Department of Education priority of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
During the 2016/2017 school year, the new ALC facility in Salem opened its doors and the beginning of the new aviation education program commenced. Twenty-eight students enrolled in the Aviation History and Private Pilot Course. During this past month of April, a Redbird MCX full-motion flight simulator, with a wrap-around visual, configured as a Cessna 172 with traditional round gauges was installed at the school. Additionally, four Redbird Jay Velocity PC type flight training devices have been purchased for the aviation program. For the 2018/2019 school year, a Flight Simulator Course and Air Transportation Management will be added to the curriculum. All that is pretty exciting to the student’s and enrollment in the aviation program is forecast to grow to 132 students.