Aviation Academy Relocation
Posted: March 4, 2020
Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, the Aviation Academy will have a new home at Denbigh High School. The classrooms and specialized equipment will relocate from the airport campus to Denbigh High School. The decision to relocate follows months of discussion between school division officials and the Peninsula Airport Commission. Due to the non-renewal of the lease and the deterioration of the building, the Aviation Academy cannot remain in the old terminal at the Williamsburg-Newport News Airport. School division officials will continue to work with the Peninsula Airport Commission and City of Newport News officials to identify funding to support the construction of a new Aviation Academy at the airport.
The Aviation Academy currently uses 16,204 square feet at the airport campus. After construction and renovations over the summer break, the Aviation Academy will move into a new 16,167 square foot area at Denbigh High School in late August 2020. Aviation Academy students and staff will continue to have full access to the nationally recognized STEM curriculum with a focus on piloting, aircraft maintenance, engineering and aviation security/safety. In addition, the new location will retain all the distinctive features:
- A 3-D printer and virtual reality lab
- An FAA Pilot Ground School course that will prepare students for flying lessons and private pilot licensure
- Seven flight simulators used in the pilot classes
- A fully functioning wind tunnel capable of showing students the dynamics of flight with visual and data representation
- The opportunity to build an RV-12 plane and a locker for the International Space Station
- A classroom set of drones
Aviation Academy students will visit our hangar at the airport as part of their curriculum for the FAA Pilot Ground School course, the Aviation Maintenance course and others.
The location may be changing but our mission remains the same: to provide a quality education that will maximize the potential of every student by providing them with the knowledge, skillsets, experiences and values needed in the 21st Century workplace.
Recently, the Virginia House Appropriations Committee recommended eliminating $275,000 in Aviation Academy funding from the state's upcoming biennial budget. The funding supports school programs and equipment including flight simulators, computers, virtual reality software and summer experiences for students, and not construction or renovation projects. This funding is included in the Governor's proposed budget and the Senate's proposed budget. School division officials are working with local legislators to reverse the recommended funding cut.
We appreciate our partnership with you and we look forward to working with you as we embark on a new educational journey.