Alabama Aerospace & Aviation High School

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The Alabama Aerospace & Aviation High School (AAHS) is a charter high school for grades 9–12. The school's curriculum focuses on skills needed to enter aerospace and aviation careers in the military and defense industry, as well as commercial aviation. The school's founder is Ruben Morris, and Charles Knight chairs its governing board. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Melvin Dealie is the dean of aviation. The Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved their charter in August 2021.

The school's founder initially intended the school to be opened alongside the Southern Museum of Flight in 2022, and to move with the museum to a new campus in the Grand River area. After the Birmingham Board of Education voted against the proposal, the site of the new school was changed to the Foundation of Life Church at 1414 2nd Avenue North Bessemer, with plans to construct a new 55,000 square foot, $20 million facility at the Bessemer Municipal Airport by 2024.

The Alabama Aerospace & Aviation High School works in partnerships with the Bessemer Airport Authority, Delta Airlines Technical Operations and Republic Airways, as well as with the Auburn University School of Aviation, Tuskegee University, and Miles College. Other partners include Blue Origin Aerospace Company, Kaiser Aircraft Industries, the 117th Air Refueling Wing, Lawson State Community College, Snead State Community College, UAB and Alabama State University.

The school also works with Red Mountain Theatre to provide arts programming. The school also fields boys and girls basketball, track and field, and soccer teams competing in the Alabama High School Athletic Association. A group from AAHS also competed in the Drone Soccer demonstration sport at the 2022 World Games.

The program began on August 22, 2022 with an inaugural class of 150 students in 9th and 10th grade.


  • Coker, Angel (November 3, 2020) "New charter school with aviation, aerospace focus eyed for Birmingham." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Coker, Angel (January 28, 2021) "Bham Board of Education denies aviation charter school application." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Coker, Angel (August 31, 2021) "Alabama Public Charter School Commission approves aviation-focused charter school." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Daniel, Nicole S. (August 17, 2022) "Alabama's First Aerospace & Aviation High School Opens in Bessemer." The Birmingham Times
  • "Ruben Morris, Alabama Aviation HS Founder, on His Plans to Make Students Soar." (August 17, 2022) The Birmingham Times
  • Miles, Kyra & Taylor Washington (October 19, 2022) "New Alabama aviation charter school aims to diversify the cockpit." WBHM

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