Averett University Cuts Ribbon on AU Aviation Services

Posted on October 26th, 2021 by Matt Bell

University now serves as fixed base operator at Danville Regional Airport

Averett University today held a ribbon cutting event celebrating the opening of AU Aviation Services, the new Fixed Based Operator (FBO) of the Danville Regional Airport. The University and the City of Danville entered into a lease agreement beginning July 1.

“With so many exciting economic development initiatives underway, our community airport is becoming increasingly significant, serving as a window to the region and often providing a first and lasting impression,” said Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “Here at AU Aviation Services, we’ve established an enhanced look, developed a new logo and hired wonderful staff who are here to serve all who travel through Danville Regional Airport.”

Averett hired industry veteran John Earl to serve as its inaugural FBO manager. Earl has extensive experience leading FBOs across the United States that have commonly been recognized for exemplary customer service, including Boston, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as in some smaller communities throughout Alabama and Kansas.

“It means so much to join a community that has such pride in its FBO, and I look forward to leading it and supporting this growth during this time of exciting advancement in this region,” said Earl.

The University has had a presence at the airport for 40 years, operating its Aeronautics degree program out of the George J. Falk Flight Operations Center next door to the FBO area. More than 100 Averett Aeronautics majors are learning the business of aviation or receiving in-flight training at Averett’s FAA-approved 141-certified flight school.

“This transition gives us the opportunity to maximize growth in our aeronautics academic program – which is projected to almost double in enrollment within the next four years – and this FBO will serve as a fully integrated, hands-on learning lab for our students.”

Averett is building upon the solid foundation provided by former operator, General Aviation – a multi-generational, family-owned company that operated the FBO since 1948. At today’s event, both the City and Averett presented the former FBO managers – the Rembold family – plaques of recognition for their vision, persistence and commitment to service over these 70 years of aviation growth in the region.

Danville Regional Airport is owned and operated by the City of Danville. It covers 800 acres, and includes a primary runway and a cross runway.

“There is no limit to where this region can go, and as there is continued growth, the Danville Regional Airport will continue to evolve as well to be a current and necessary asset providing the business of aviation, training support and convenience,” Mayor Alonzo Jones said. “The City and Averett have worked and continue to work together very closely. Today, we celebrate the latest chapter.”