Jamaica students from August Martin High School Aviation Academy receive flight-training scholarships from JFK

August Martin High School Flight Training (1)
Photo by Margot Jordan/The New Terminal One Team

The New Terminal One Team at John F. Kennedy International Airport took to the skies on June 27 announcing an innovative community initiative to provide flight-training scholarships to 29 rising students in the August Martin High School Aviation Academy in Jamaica, as the air travel industry predicts a global shortage of pilots in the future, officials said. 

The announcement comes as The New Terminal One Team ramps up its local presence as part of the JFK Redevelopment Program, a $13 billion infrastructure project underway with the first phase scheduled for completion in 2023. 

The New Terminal One Team, collectively known as the “Consortium,” comprises operating and financial partners led by CAG Holdings and The Carlyle Group, JLC Infrastructure, and Ullico. The Consortium was selected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to undertake the redevelopment and expansion of JFK’s Terminal One. The plan was first unveiled in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Vision Plan for JFK in 2017. 

“The New Terminal One Team is thrilled to award flight training scholarships to these 29 exceptional August Martin students,” said Amit Rikhy, president and CEO of CAG Holdings. “We are proud to support the development of the next generation of aviation professionals by providing young people with access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) experiences.” 

The innovative student flight training initiative comes as mandatory retirement and stricter rules requiring co-pilots to have more flight time have industry experts predicting a need to fill thousands of pilot vacancies during the next several decades. Under the grant initiative, the 29 students will receive flight training at the Academy of Aviation in Farmingdale, New York, officials said.

The Aviation Academy at August Martin High School, located at 156-10 Baisley Blvd., helps prepare students for careers in the air travel industry. Students receive training on In-Flight Simulators at the school. They also receive observation hours, flight hours and classroom time with flight instructors off-site.

Khandakar Shohan, 18, a senior in the Aviation Academy whose family immigrated to New York from Bangladesh, said the academy has been a life-changing event. 

“The free flight training scholarships by The New Terminal One Team in partnership with the JFK Redevelopment Program has brought new energy to the school and direction to the Aviation Academy,” said Shohan. “The resources they are providing are beneficial because, without it, some of us wouldn’t be able to achieve our dreams to become pilots.”

Cashele Brown, 18, also a senior, expressed gratitude to the school, the New Terminal One Team and the JFK Redevelopment Program for the flight training program. 

“I want to be a pilot or an emergency room physician, but I know that the training and guidance I have received at the Aviation Academy will help prepare me for both,” said Brown. “The flight-training grant and scholarships are nothing but a terrific opportunity for all students in the program.” 

Hadia Ghuman, 17, who immigrated to New York from Pakistan with her family, said the program will give students a better opportunity and chance to reach their goals before going to college. 

August Martin High School Principal Rory Parnell, said one of the most important components of the Aviation Academy is that scholars can accrue actual flight hours in an aircraft. 

“Thanks to The New Terminal One Team providing funds for our scholars to receive the first stage of their flight time as a result of our partnership with the JFK Redevelopment Program we have opened the door to internships, technical training, and a direct pathway to a myriad of career options within aviation,” said Parnell. “We look forward to continuing to find ways to create new opportunities for our scholars as we work to shape the aviation leaders of tomorrow.”

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz congratulated the students on their achievement.

“These students represent the future of aviation and deserve all of the support we can give them,” said Katz, co-chair of the JFK Redevelopment Advisory Council. “The New Terminal One Team deserves to be commended for helping these students to reach the skies — literally.”