Skip to main content

Virginia Entities Awarded Aviation Workforce Development Grants by the FAA

Two Virginia entities have been awarded Aviation Workforce Development grants by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help educate the next generation of pilots and other aviation professionals.

Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Va. and the Old Dominion University Research Foundation/Virginia Space Grant Consortium in Norfolk, Va. were awarded funding that will go towards student scholarships, improved curriculum for their aviation programs and to buy technology such as drones and flight simulators.

Randolph-Macon Academy, which received $307,000, says the supplemental funding will go towards providing 65 student scholarships. The private non-profit school hopes the scholarships will encourage more students to enroll in the school’s growing program. Randolph-Macon Academy says that students interested in manned and unmanned aviation could receive scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $10,000.

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium received $474,000 for its 18-month Virginia Pilot Pathways program. The program will help prepare high school students for the growing demand for commercial aircraft pilots and unmanned aircraft system pilots and operators.

Both entities plan to use grant money for personnel development, which will help prepare educators to teach unmanned aircraft system courses. The grant will allow Randolph-Macon Academy to offer five $5,000 scholarships in the unmanned systems program.

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s Pathways Flight Academies program will now be able to provide many high school students with flight training opportunities. An additional 20 students will now be able to participate in the program beginning in the summer of 2022, which brings the total number of students to 45.

Randolph-Macon Academy plans to use some of the grant money to cover the cost of giving 50 students their first opportunity to fly. The money will cover scholarships of $5,000-$10,000 for students to advance to solo flights and gain the experience and required flight time toward obtaining a pilot’s license.

The FAA awarded $5 million in grants to accredited higher-education institutions, high schools, state and local governments and flight schools across the country. Their mission is to educate and train a pipeline of skilled and diverse professionals. These grants are one way the agency is working to address the projected shortages of aircraft pilots in the industry.