Aviation trailblazer and advocate Barrington Irving has teamed up with industry and community organizations to launch a professional and technical training center in South Florida to help build a pipeline of local, national, and international students in business aviation disciplines. Irving is partnering with NBAA, Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Atlantic Aviation, and Bombardier on the center that organizers say will offer innovative programs and training approaches, along with specialized technical and professional certifications. Plans call for enrolling 100 students next year.
“This pioneering new initiative displays our commitment to the future of business aviation, ensuring that we have trained and highly specialized talent to support the industry’s increasing growth and demand worldwide,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said.
The collaboration involves several local entities from South Florida and is seeking additional partners to help in its mission of showcasing various aspects of business aviation.
“I am extremely excited about the launch of this phenomenal program training our future pilots, engineers, technicians, and business leaders in the aviation industry,” said Miami-Dade County vice-chair Oliver Gilbert. “This training facility will position the youth in our community to take full advantage of all the opportunities that the aviation industry has to offer.”
The center is the latest in numerous initiatives that Irving has undertaken to draw new students into the industry. Flying Classroom and Experience Aviation organizations that Irving has founded have led to more than 200 students finding positions in business aviation.
“I not only use business aviation to grow our company and recruit students to our industry, but I, along with our partners, are living testimony of how business aviation can help you achieve your highest self,” said Irving, who in 2007 became the youngest pilot to solo around the world in a single-engine airplane. “Business aviation has so much to offer, and our stories need to be told more often for new students to learn and grow from tangible experiences.”
Irving in 2019 was the recipient of the NBAA American Spirit Award for his dedication to mentorship and promoting STEM careers.