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Atlantic Cape Hosts Local High School Students for Annual Aviation Day Workshops and Hands-on Learning

05/25/2023 | Media Contact: David Zuba, Public Relations Manager and Copywriter | (609) 343-4933
Students watch as one of their classmates tries flying a drone as Atlantic Cape Associate Professor Anthony Esposito looks on during Aviation Day

MAYS LANDING — The sky is not the limit, it is just the beginning. The burgeoning aviation industry in Southern New Jersey offers a myriad of stable, high-paying career options from air traffic controller and helicopter pilot to mechanic and drone operator.

Atlantic Cape Community College’s Aviation Day on May 24 at the Mays Landing campus introduced students, from several local high schools, to this exciting industry as a new generation of high tech-minded youth endeavor to find their own professional niche.

Students from Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County Institute of Technology, Lower Cape May Regional and Cape May Technical high schools heard from aviation professionals and professors. Workshops and hands-on demonstrations allowed the students to get up close and personal with the institutional knowledge and technology that is prevalent throughout the aviation industry today.

Aviation Operations Chairman Tim Cwik talks about the college's air traffic control simulator“It is important to get the students out here to see and touch, fly the drones, look at a chart, talk in the simulator, listen to professionals talk about their careers and interact with industry professionals rather than just reading about it in a book,” said Atlantic Cape Aviation Operations Chairman Tim Cwik, who presented the air traffic controller workshop where students had the opportunity to interact with the college’s tower simulator and learn how to oversee airplane departures and arrivals.. “Aviation Day is geared towards making the students in our area aware of these possibilities as a career option. We want more people to know that aviation careers are available here and that Atlantic Cape has flight programs for fixed-wing and propeller, and for airline pilots too.”

United Airlines Boeing 777 Pilot Cheryl Lynn Simpson speaks to the students about the life of a pilotOther aviation experts on hand included Spirit Airlines Captain Janis Keown who presented a workshop on sectional charts where the students learned how to read them for aviation navigation purposes. United Airlines Boeing 777 Pilot Cheryl Lynn Simpson spoke to a day in the life of an airline pilot. Former US Navy Aviation Maintenance Administration Petty Officer & current General Aviation Maintenance Technician Michael Priolo discussed careers in aircraft maintenance. And, Atlantic Cape Associate Professor Anthony Esposito held a drone demonstration and hands-on lesson with the students.

Atlantic County Institute of Technology Aviation Studies teacher Andrew Nebl spoke of the benefit that his students received from Aviation Day.

“My students are already immersed in aviation. It is good for them to know what careers are available locally and what resources are there after high school,” Nebl said. “The other avenues and career paths that are available in the aviation industries. This provides more exposure and opportunities for them, and it allows them to touch base with other students in the area whom they normally wouldn’t get to meet.”

Keynote speaker Michael A. Konyak talking to the studentsKeynote speaker Michael A. Konyak, program manager, Innovation & Technology Advisory Council at the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township, NJ spoke of how exciting and bright the future for aviation is in the area.

“The future of aviation holds promising advancements that will revolutionize the industry,” Konyak said.

Konyak stated that the future of Southern New Jersey’s aviation industry will include advanced air mobility, green hydrogen infrastructure, smart airport systems, sustainable aviation fuels, commercial space, cargo operations and UAS traffic management systems.

Learn more about Atlantic Cape’s Aviation Program at


About Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive two-year community college serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. The college offers over 40 career, transfer and workforce development programs to more than 8,000 students annually at three campuses in New Jersey: Atlantic City, Cape May Court House and Mays Landing.