Indianapolis-based Republic Airways has announced plans to expand its Leadership in Flight Training (LIFT) Academy to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The airline launched the program in Indy in 2018.
Republic says the Indianapolis program has become one of the largest flight training schools in the country, with up to 300 students trained each year. LIFT graduates have a direct pathway to a commercial airline position at Republic and are paid while accumulating the required flight training hours.
“We’ve experienced rapid growth of the LIFT program due to the quantity and quality of students we’ve attracted from all over the country, so we know there is demand to expand our operations outside of the Midwest,” Ed Bagden, LIFT director of operations and academic programs, said in written remarks. “South Carolina, and in particular Myrtle Beach, is an ideal location with favorable weather for flying and strong investments being made to its airport infrastructure and surrounding area.”
The airline says plans are to have LIFT operations underway in Myrtle Beach as early as October of this year in a temporary hangar at Myrtle Beach International Airport. LIFT will use the airport for its Indianapolis winter operations, and the airline is negotiating with the airport, city and state for a long-term facility for the flight training program.
“We are thrilled that Republic Airways has selected Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) as its next location for expansion of LIFT Academy,” said Scott Van Moppes, director of airports at MYR. “Through LIFT, MYR will welcome pilots in training from all areas of the country, looking to take advantage of the ideal flying weather and our close proximity to other Horry County airports. We look forward to building a great partnership with LIFT Academy and offer a warm welcome to the Grand Strand.”
Republic says LIFT will look to expand its aircraft fleet to support the additional training location.