Redbird's 'Aero-Lab' Could Be The Focus Of A Major GA Flight Training Revolution
The Redbird Skyport's 'birthday' of November 8th, 2011 may be a date to remember... for the first time in a LONG time, aviation industry luminaries gathered together to celebrate the start of something "REALLY DIFFERENT." A multi-faceted aviation research and development laboratory, located in San Marcos, TX, the Redbird Skyport is the culmination of the efforts of Redbird Flight Simulations and King Schools and is supported by a growing number of industry partners.
Skyport is designed to be the first step in developing solutions to the challenges of a shrinking pilot population, staggering student drop-out rate and the ever increasing cost of flight training. The innovative aviation laboratory will include a full service FBO, flight school, and aviation experience center. All aspects of the project will provide a test bed for innovative hardware, software, business processes and ideas with the goal of revitalizing general aviation.
Skyport will be an open laboratory where new ideas are fostered and innovative solutions are tested. “We have committed to building an R&D facility in the form of a working, for profit, flight school at an airport in San Marcos,Texas. The work product of that institution will be available to and benefit everyone in the industry and we, and our development partners, are looking forward with great anticipation to its opening in the fall of 2011. As a step toward fixing the problems with flight training, it’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s a start,” noted Jerry Gregoire, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Redbird Flight Simulations.
The idea for an R&D laboratory came from the need for quantifiable data regarding the use of simulation in general aviation training. “We have always believed that our systems could be a catalyst for improvements in the way pilots are trained and we needed a platform to test our ideas,” explained Gregoire. Skyport has grown to encompass every aspect of General Aviation. “Early on in the process we recognized that the only way to affect meaningful change was to look at all the pieces of the puzzle,” continued Jerry Gregoire, “we are building this project from the ground up to redefine the status quo.”