Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 24, 2021

Airport internships provide students with aviation training

Brainerd High School senior Abraham Coleman and Crystal Air pilot Daniel Monroe. - Photograph provided

Four seniors at Brainerd High School’s Future Ready Institute of Aviation gained practical experience through internships at the Chattanooga Airport, Wilson Air Center Chattanooga and Crystal Air this semester.

“This program is about preparing students for life after high school,” says Grady Nace, teacher with the institute. “Ideally, it will jump-start careers in aviation, but even students who choose a different direction will benefit from the experience.”

The program is designed to equip students for a career in aviation. It covers flight training, aircraft maintenance, fueling, aircraft marshalling, airport management and other topics.

This year’s interns included Brainerd High seniors Nathan Alier, Abraham Coleman, Janolan Sims and Jayla Thornhill.

While each student had a different focus, the interns as a group directed airport traffic, refueled aircrafts and assisted with operations within the airport’s police dispatch center and fire department.

Chattanooga Airport also utilized private aircraft in cooperation with Wilson Air Center and Crystal Air to provide students with flight training and hands-on piloting experience.

“I’ve always been interested in the aviation industry, so I’m grateful for seeing what working at an airport is like,” says Jayla Thornhill, an intern interested in airport management. “I feel more prepared to pursue a career in this field.”

John Naylor, a former vice president of planning at the Chattanooga Airport, created the partnership between the airport and Brainerd High.

Naylor wanted students to be aware of the opportunities in the industry and would personally transport students to the airport, lead them on tours and conduct training exercises.

“In working with those students, John was investing in their futures and in the future of flight,” says Jack McAfee, vice president of operations at the Chattanooga Airport. “We’re now building on his vision to inspire others to pursue a career in aviation.”

Source: Chattanooga Airport