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History of National Aviation Academy

At the start of the 1900’s flight was becoming more than just a dream in the United States. Several aviation enthusiasts were drawing up new ways to take to the sky and were conducting extensive experiments involving balloons, kites and gliders. Most famously the Wright brothers were constructing and operating manned gliding experiments that started in 1900. During the first decade of the 19th century the brothers designed, built and flew several prototypes that started with human power and then progressed to engine driven machines.

In 1914 the first commercial flight, captained by Tony Jannus, made its way across Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg to Tampa. This historical flight marked the birth of commercial aviation. Over the next two decades aviation saw great advancements. Airplanes went from wood and fabric to sleek aluminum based flying machines. These early models were used in World War I as a new tool for an army’s arsenal. After WWI, in 1930 jet engines were being developed in Germany and Britain.

East Coast Aero Tech School (ECAT) was founded in 1932, in Bedford, Massachusetts, with the single purpose of preparing young men for careers in aviation. ECAT became synonymous with aviation and was known for producing the top technicians. Thousands and thousands of students completed course work at ECAT, received licenses with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and went on to hold prominent positions within the industry. Students attending ECAT spent half their time learning in a hangar and laboratory settings taught by highly trained instructors.

Over the next 30 years advancements in the field of aviation continued at an overwhelming pace. The commercial aviation sector grew as demand increased for travel and business.

In 1969, National Aviation Academy (NAA) started in Clearwater, Florida. The school started as a result for the increasing demand for aviation technicians and pilots. Since aviation was still relatively new several companies were now starting to depend on this method of travel for business. After a few years NAA began to solely focus on producing aviation maintenance technicians. The academy saw small and steady growth through the 70s and 80s. In 1991 Mac Elliott, CEO and Owner, purchased NAA with the grandeur thoughts of growing the school into the best aviation institution in the world.

In 2003 President Mike Wisniewski was hired to lead NAA. Within just a few years the school was developing new programs to meet the needs of the progressing industry. In 2008 NAA purchased ECAT and merged the schools long and illustrious histories of producing the top aviation professionals in New England and Tampa Bay.

NAA is proud to offer 6 programs including; Aviation Maintenance Professional, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Avionics Technology, Professional Pilot Technology, Aviation Maintenance Certification, Inspection Authorization and associates opportunities. Not all programs are currently offered at the New England or Tampa Bay campus. For more information please contact the closest NAA campus.  

Tampa Bay Campus - 6225 Ulmerton Rd Clearwater, FL 33760 - 800.659.2080
New England Campus - 150 Hanscom Dr. Bedford, MA 01730 - 800.292.3228
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