With over 45 million travelers per year, Charlotte’s airport is one of the world’s busiest hubs and one of North Carolina’s top economic engines. Meanwhile, the aviation industry is demanding ever-higher operational efficiency, safety and modernization. 

Facing these steep challenges, Charlotte Douglas International Airport has partnered with UNC Charlotte to explore solutions, establishing the only partnership of its kind in the nation between a major airport and a major university: The Charlotte Aviation Innovation and Research Institute, or Charlotte AIR.

As the city’s research university, UNC Charlotte is squarely positioned to successfully research, innovate and advance the aviation sector through infrastructure and technology solutions. Top tier partners include Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the Sullenberger Aviation Museum, and UNC Charlotte’s William States Lee College of Engineering.

To address the high demand for a trained workforce, the living lab at Charlotte Douglas International Airport offers customized curriculum, unique research opportunities and experiential training for UNC Charlotte engineering students. These students emerge ready for careers in the aviation sector, providing the much-needed skills and leadership for this growing transportation sector.

Charlotte AIR will help establish Charlotte as the hub for aviation infrastructure and technology expertise through transformative research and development of a trained workforce.