Determined Flight School Rises Again

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Aviation business people who think they've had it rough since 9/11 might pause to consider the plight of the North American Institute of Aviation in Conway, S.C. They might also note the never-say-die attitude of the flight school, which has certainly had more than the usual share of post-9/11 misery. "Hopefully we see the light at the end of the tunnel with this facility," owner Benjamin Creel told The Sun News as he presided over the groundbreaking for a new $1.2 million school. You see, the former building burned down 18 months ago. But the academy captured worldwide media attention a year ago when a former student tried to take a handgun aboard a plane in Sweden. "They say any publicity is good publicity, but I don't know," said Creel. And, like most schools, attendance has taken a beating in the last two years, especially for those like NAIA, which attracts mainly foreign students who come under more scrutiny for security. Creel said the new school will house three classrooms, offices, an observation tower and also serve as the air terminal. Perhaps they should consider adding a lightning rod....