Birmingham looking to bring aviation program to city school students

Push for school aviation program

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A new possibility for Birmingham City School students that could, among other things, help address the nation’s pilot shortage.

John Hilliard, District 9 Commissioner, is championing the cause to make this a reality for students. He says since Birmingham is home to the largest airport in the state, and that it only makes sense we have a program like this.

Hilliard says the program will expose students to all things aviation, from mechanic work to what it takes to be a pilot. He says the discussion has already started with Birmingham airport officials, state board of education leaders, and Birmingham City School leaders.

If this sounds like something your child may be interested in, Hilliard has a survey posted online at The survey will be available until January. It asks if you have a child enrolled in the city school system and if your child would be interested in participating in the program.

Hilliard says he hopes by bringing the curriculum to middle and high school students - it will create a direct pipeline to fill jobs.

“Once we can show the numbers and show the interest we can attract corporate America and corporate Alabama, such as the Delta Airlines, even the airport itself will need other employees to start migrating into opportunities,” said Hilliard.

Hilliard says they are looking to get 2,000 signatures on the survey, but even before they get those signatures. He says they’re going to try to get the curriculum going in schools to get people interested.

There’s no timeline set for that, but Hilliard says he hopes he can get that going as soon as possible.

Hilliard says there are similar programs in Auburn, Abbeville, and Ozark Alabama.

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