AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - Friday signaled a launch of the first building designed exclusively for aviation education at Auburn. There was a dedication ceremony for the new Delta Air Lines Aviation Education Building at Auburn University Regional Airport.
“It’s actually the realization of a plan for our students to have a successful career path in aviation industry. It’s something we really wanted to accomplish for a long time,” said Auburn University President Steven Leath.
The 23,000 square foot facility was made possible with a $6.2 million grant by Delta Air Lines, the Delta Air Lines Foundation and the Jacobson Family Foundation.
“I think there’s incredible ways that this program is going to benefit students,” said Delta Airlines Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson. “First and foremost is with the Propel program, giving students an opportunity in their junior year to get a conditional job offer with Delta, to be assigned a mentor, to help them earn their flight training and build the experience that they need to become a Delta pilot.”
University officials say that having the partnership with Delta, and facilities like the new aviation building, only goes to better prepare students for careers in aviation.
“We are going to have technology that we haven’t had before in this building. Classroom space, flight simulators, FAA testing lab all in one facility. So we can integrate all of our parts and its really going to advance what we do and make our aviation education offering much more easy to do,” said Auburn University Airport Aviation Center Director Bill Hutto.
The grant from Delta will also create endowed faculty professorships within Auburn’s Department of Aviation, home to one of the longest standing public flight programs in the country.
Delta’s donation also provided funding for the university’s Radio-Frequency Identification, or RFID Lab.