FOLEY, Alabama (WALA) – The Foley Municipal Airport has had an increasing amount of interest since it’s facility opened in 2011, and this is largely because of it’s flight training school.
The airport offers an accredited Federal Aviation Administration 141 school that has instructed many students from the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.
The school, operated by Lightning Aviation, has six instructors on staff and 10 planes for use in flight training.
According to Fixed Base Operator Roger Watkins, who opened the school, the initial flight screening involves about 40 hours of flying time.
The flight screening process also gets students to the solo stage, which is about 22 hours shy of obtaining a private license.
“These students are very intelligent and already have been through a very extensive matrix,” Watkins said.
“This program is a baby step in the career ladder they are climbing, but it is an essential step as their entire future is at stake.”
About 400 Navy students per year have come through the program. The Naval Air Station sends from four to 12 students to the school each week and expects students to complete the initial flight training and evaluation in roughly four weeks.
Watkins said a number of civilians have gotten their private license through the school, and many Navy students have come back for the final phase to get their private license as well.
The airport is also a Computer Assisted Testing Center for any testing required by the FAA, including exams for mechanics, private or commercial licenses or instrument testing.