SPTC Innovative Stars Award Presented to Averett University

Posted on April 12th, 2019 by Cassie Jones

The Southern Piedmont Technology Council (SPTC) held the Innovative Stars Awards Banquet on Wednesday, April 10, in which Averett University’s aerospace management program received the Innovation in Education and Community Outreach Award. Averett was one of seven award recipients.

The banquet celebrated Southern Piedmont’s technology community and honored the contributions of individuals and organizations that promote the importance of technology. STPC’s service region and awards encompass Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties and Danville and Martinsville cities. The Innovation in Education and Community Outreach Award nominations were scored based on the maturity of the effort, regional impacts, whether it promotes or enhances educational opportunities or community outreach, and whether it is replicable with potential sustainability to scale.

“We are honored and humbled to be recognized for such an award, and to be considered a technology innovator by this esteemed organization,” said Averett Chief Flight Instructor Travis Williams. Williams leads the University’s aeronautics program – housed at the Danville Regional Airport – with concentrations available in aviation business, flight operations and aerospace management/criminal justice.

Averett has been granted authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to certify its qualifying graduates for an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) with reduced aeronautical experience. The total flight time required for the restricted privileges is 1,000 hours, 500 less than the industry standard. The program also offers a number of certifications, including: Private Pilot Certificate; Commercial Pilot Certificate; Flight Instructor Certificate; Flight Instructor Instrument Certificate; Instrument Rating Certificate; Additional Aircraft Category; and Class Rating Certificates. In addition, the Averett University Flying Cougar Flight Team is made up of a dedicated group of individuals working together to achieve one common goal; aviation excellence in a competition environment. The team has been competing at National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) competitions against other aviation clubs and universities since the early 1990s.

A partnership with Piper Aircraft Inc. provides training aircraft as well as student scholarships, sponsorships, maintenance and instructor training, and enhanced marketing support.

Partnerships with Piedmont Airlines and PSA Airlines offer pilot prospects a guaranteed career path to American Airlines. Aviation business students also take on an internship within the industry.

In addition, Averett recently announced a partnership with the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and Liberty University to host Pathways Flight Academy in Danville, a no-cost academy for selected high school students to take their first solo fight following a two-week residential academy introducing young people to aviation opportunities. The first campers will arrive in Danville this summer.

SPTC is a member-based organization consisting of technology companies and advocates from Southern Virginia. The SPTC mission is to further the economic vitality of the Southern Piedmont region by developing and promoting the region’s technology resources. The event, held at the Instituted for Advanced Learning and Research, announced winners of the Innovative Stars Awards and featured keynote speaker Courtney Dozier, Chief Deputy of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Deputy Broadband Advisor. Robby Demeria, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Technology, provided a message from the governor’s cabinet and shared the importance of technology councils to the region.