Thursday, July 19, 2012

Atlantic Cape Community College to move flight simulator to site at Atlantic City International Airport (KACY), New Jersey

MAYS LANDING _ Atlantic Cape Community College plans to move its flight simulator to space leased from Midlantic Jet Aviation at the Atlantic City International Airport.

The site will also house the new airline pilot training program, college officials said at an open house for its aviation programs Tuesday at the college.

About 25 prospective students attended the open house, most interested in the new program that will combine an associate’s degree with a pilot license.

Among them was Anthony Spina, 19, of Galloway Township, a 2012 graduate of Absegami High School who said he had originally planned to attend Atlantic Cape and get his pilot’s license from a private school. The Atlantic Cape program would allow him to do both in one location close to home.

“I’ve been interested in becoming a pilot since I was a kid,” he said. “Coming here I can get a degree too, and financial aid.”

Last week, commercial aircraft manufacturer Boeing forecast that at least 460,000 new commercial pilots, including 69,000 in North America, will be needed over the next 20 years. That announcement has generated interest in Atlantic Cape’s professional pilot option, program chairman James Taggart said.

The college is finalizing a lease with Midlantic that will also house the pilot training courses run by Big Sky Aviation, which is based in Millville.

Students will be able to get financial aid for their training, an asset to participating in the college program. The cost for the pilot’s license course ranges from $10,000 for the private pilot course to $21,000 for the commercial pilot license program.

Beth Smithson, cq co-owner of Big Sky said large commercial airlines expect pilots to have a bachelor’s degree, but pilots with an associate’s could get jobs with cargo freight companies or smaller private companies.

Taggart said Atlantic Cape is developing transfer agreements with four-year colleges including Embry-Riddle in Florida, Hampton University in Virginia and Dowling College in New York for students who want to earn an aviation-related bachelor’s degree.

The college already offers an air traffic control program and has expanded its aviation programs to include an associates in science, professional pilot, pre-aerospace engineering. Taggart said 46 students are currently in the air traffic control program.

He said while the Federal Aviation Administration still is not accepting any new programs for training certification, graduates can still apply to become FAA air traffic controllers through he general public announcement process.

More information on the programs is on the Atlantic Cape Community College web site at


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