The New AeroVenture Institute Flight Training and Aerospace Learning Center
Will Provide Best Practices in STEM Education
For Immediate Release: May 19, 2014
Southbridge, MA – The Worcester Regional Flight Academy (WRFA) is announcing some major changes.
In addition to moving its operations to Southbridge Municipal Airport starting Monday, May 19, 2014, the company has changed its name to AeroVenture Institute (AVI), a Flight Training and Aerospace Learning Center. Their new address is 220 Airport Access Road, Southbridge Municipal Airport, MA 01550.
While AVI will no longer be conducting business at Worcester Regional Airport, they will in fact be expanding their presence in Worcester through new STEM programs with schools, non-profits and companies throughout Central Massachusetts, including an unprecedented partnership with the EcoTarium.
The formerly known WRFA was opened at Worcester Regional Airport in May 2010. Since then, they have achieved notable honors and recognitions including being named one of the country’s Top 10 Flight Schools by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Co-owner and chief instructor Bill Allen, CFII, was also named of the Top 25 Flight Instructors in the US in both 2012 and 2013.
In addition to its success in training and certifying local pilots, the flight school has grown into one of the region’s leading STEM education centers through the vision of AVI President and CEO, George Charles Allen. Last year, Allen approached the EcoTarium with an opportunity to provide a cutting-edge aerospace institution enhanced by the flight school’s invaluable partnerships with David Clark Company and JetBlue. As a result, the AeroVenture Institute will debut at the EcoTarium on June 1st.
“We are excited about our new partnership with both the Town of Southbridge and the EcoTarium as we continue to expand our course opportunities. We are well positioned to provide the best and broadest flight training and aerospace education available for students of all ages and ambitions, with programs including college credit for high school students and opportunities to build real airplanes from scratch,” says George Charles Allen, President and CEO of the AeroVenture Institute.
Meanwhile, AVI will be expanding its business in Southbridge with additional flight and aerospace instructors, a glider program, an RC airplane and rocket launching club, air and spacecraft design and construction, as well as a variety of innovative flight and aerospace training programs for youth and adults.
“We look forward to the professional aviation programs and educational opportunities the AeroVenture Institute is bringing to Southbridge and the surrounding communities,” says Lenny Vigneault, Chair, Southbridge Airport Commission.
The Allen family has been an integral part of the Worcester Regional Airport, maintaining a presence on the field during airline transitions through Direct Air and JetBlue. Their annual Free Fly Day introduced hundreds of local families to the joys of aviation. Last year, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty presented the Allen family with a Key to the City for their extensive community outreach including various STEM programs with organizations such as Girls Inc. of Worcester and South High Community School. They were also recognized by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce in March for their nationally awarded flight training by AOPA.
The AeroVenture Institute will hold their annual Free Fly Day at Southbridge Municipal Airport on Saturday, June 21. For more information on classes and flight lessons, please visit www.AeroVentureInstitute.org.