LIFT Academy adds Stanly County Airport as winter satellite location

Published 3:23 pm Monday, January 10, 2022

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As winter weather rolls into the Midwest, LIFT (Leadership In Flight Training) Academy, based in Indianapolis, began its winter flight training operations at Stanly County Airport in Albemarle to give its students not only a warm weather environment conducive for visual flight rules but also an opportunity to train in different topography.

LIFT, which operates a fleet of 40 Diamond DA40-NG and 5 DA42-VI aircraft, is staging up to 15 planes at Stanly County Airport, and over the course of December, January and February, LIFT anticipates that more than 100 flight students will benefit from the relocated winter flying.

“We have had incredible success in our mission to prepare airline-ready pilots in our home location at Indianapolis International Airport. Adding Stanly County Airport provides operational relief with more reliable winter weather so our students’ accelerated training program can continue uninterrupted in the harshest winter months,” Ed Bagden, director of LIFT operations and academic programs, said.

“Beyond the weather, Stanly County Airport was attractive for our operations due to their facilities, infrastructure and welcoming staff who worked with us as we met the FAA requirements to establish the satellite location,” Bagden added.

Through the winter, LIFT students operate training flights in and out of Stanly County Airport with landings and lessons also taking place at 25 additional airports across the southeastern United States.

Lessons range from private pilot instruction to commercial training. LIFT maintenance members are on-site to provide routine service to the fleet of airplanes.

“We are thrilled to have LIFT at Stanly County Airport,” said Ken Swaringen, director of Stanly County Airport. “Aviation has a rich history here in North Carolina, and to host one of the premier flight programs in the country is a testament to more than just our weather. We’re excited to see LIFT take off in Stanly County.”

After extensive research, Stanly County Airport was selected from a list of hundreds of airports across the southeastern United States with consideration given to climate, facilities and infrastructure.

LIFT Academy is a commercial aviation pilot training school owned and operated by Republic Airways.