Carolina Aeronautical expected to open mid-February at Bob Sikes

Published: Friday, January 31, 2014 at 02:51 PM.

Because Carolina Aero is Veterans Affairs certified, military veterans and active duty personnel may use Montgomery G.I. Bill educational reimbursement benefits toward tuition.

Roughly 65 percent of the student population comprises veterans and military personnel, the EDC release stated.

"I was one of the retired military guys that retired at Eglin and I had to go all the way to South Carolina to find a school, so it's always been a goal of mine to start a school in this area," Clark said.

He and school founder John Gallien will be the school's initial instructors, "but as we grow we'll hire more certified mechanics as necessary," Clark said.

Clark said he and Carolina Aero's administrative staff plan to be moved in by mid-February, with classes starting in April.

Enthusiastic reception

Area officials are excited to add another business to the airport, particularly at the same time the facility's largest employer, L3 Crestview Aerospace, laid off 100 employees.

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