The military veteran owners of MIL2ATP, Inc (Military to Airline Transport Pilot) in Wayne County started the only operation in the world that offers a full military-to-airline transition course. The course is designed to enable military veterans transitioning out of service an opportunity to earn credentials that will lead to jobs as pilots in the private sector. ATP is a type of certification used by airlines, but not the only certification offered by the company. The company draws retired military from Seymour Johnson Airforce Base in Wayne County and students from all over the country for this specific training.
To meet demand, the flight school needed to expand operations at the county-owned Wayne Executive Jetport, but was limited by the amount of hangar space and existing public infrastructure.
In February 2019, Golden LEAF awarded Wayne County $200,000 to construct a waterline to serve the Wayne County Executive Jetport as part of a larger corporate area expansion project to add several hangars at the jetport. Waterline improvements were needed to extend potable water and meet fire flow requirements.
“The Golden LEAF Foundation, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners, FAA, and the NCDOT Division of Aviation have made this possible for Wayne County,” said Brandon Gray, Executive Director of Wayne Executive Jetport. “We are blessed to have such great leadership.”
So far, MIL2ATP has hired eight new employees, who make an average wage of $50,000 per year. The average wage in Wayne County is $42,000. Once the hangar is complete by the end of 2020, the company will hire two more full time instructors.
In addition to MIL2ATP, the jetport’s expansion project benefits the UNC Healthcare Air Ambulance Service, the Wayne County Sheriff Department’s Aviation Unit, Omni Aircraft Services, and Wayne Community College’s Aviation Program.