Elizabeth City State University to Expand Its Aviation Sciences Programs

Historically Black Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, AeroX, and Piedmont Flight Training are partnering to expand aviation education, strengthen and diversify the aviation workforce, and build an autonomous urban aircraft infrastructure in North Carolina. The advanced air mobility market – which will include self-driving “flying cars” [passenger drones] and electric aircraft that can deliver goods without a pilot – is expected to be $1.5 trillion by 2040.

Elizabeth City State University offers the only four-year aviation science and unmanned aircraft systems degrees in North Carolina. It will expand to the Winston-Salem region through an online aviation degree program and flight training partnership with Piedmont Flight Training. This will be the same four-year aviation degree offered in person at ECSU, and students will complete the flight portion of the degree with Piedmont.

Piedmont will be ECSU’s affiliated flight school partner. It will train students at its Smith Reynolds Airport facility in Winston-Salem for the university’s new four-year online program in aviation science, which includes a pilot’s license.

AeroX, a non-profit organization comprised of business, government, and community partners, was recently awarded $5 million from the North Carolina General Assembly to build an unmanned aircraft systems traffic management system in Winston-Salem. ECSU will provide student and faculty resources and expertise to help create this low-altitude air traffic control system. AeroX will offer two paid advanced air mobility summer internships to provide experience in the aviation industry.

Karrie G. Dixon, president of Elizabeth City State Univerity, said that “ECSU has a phenomenal aviation science degree, and thanks to this new collaboration, we’re able to offer this opportunity to other regions of North Carolina. We’re diversifying the workforce, giving our students a bright, stable economic future, and supporting the aviation industry and our state all at the same time.”

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