LIFT Academy Adds Stanly County Airport as Winter Satellite Location for Flight Training

ALBEMARLE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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, North Carolina, 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 over 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. 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,” Ken Swaringen, Stanly County Airport Director, commented. “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.

About LIFT Academy: Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy is a U.S.-based commercial aviation pilot training school owned and operated by Republic Airways. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, LIFT revolutionizes commercial aviation training, utilizing state-of-the-art, eco-friendly training technologies and systems to educate future aviators. Students receive instruction from experienced pilots, under FAA and industry standards, with the most advanced equipment and curriculum that combines flight, flight simulator, online and in-classroom training. LIFT Academy students train on a fleet of advanced new aircraft and flight simulators produced by Diamond Aircraft Industries, including the DA40 single-engine, the DA42 twin-engine aircraft and now the DA20, as well as Diamond Flight Simulator Training Devices (FSTD) built to achieve the most realistic cockpit simulation environment. LIFT offers its graduates a defined pathway to a pilot career at Republic Airways.

Learn more at

About Stanly County Airport: The Stanly County Airport is a county-owned, joint civil-military, public-use airport in Stanly County, North Carolina. It is located four nautical miles northeast of the central business district of Albemarle in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Just forty-two miles northeast of Charlotte, Stanly County offers over 10,000 acres of lakes and 175 miles of shoreline situated within the Uwharrie Mountains, the nation’s oldest mountain range.

The Stanly County Airport is a modern, towered facility featuring two runways, 04R/22L at 5,500 X 100 feet and 04L/22R at 3,500 X 75 feet. Lighting for the primary runway, taxiways and airfield signs are LED technology. The secondary runway has incandescent lighting. Tower, radar and fire/crash/rescue services are provided by the North Carolina Air National Guard. The airport is home to several subordinate units of the 145th Airlift Wing of the North Carolina Air National Guard based at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. The Wing currently flies the C17 airlifter and use the Stanly County Airport to fulfill some of their training requirements.

Visit the Stanly County Airport at


Lauren Gaudion
Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations