New F.I.T. Aviation Director is an Experienced Pilot, Educator
Albert “Al” M. Thomas, the new director of F.I.T. Aviation LLC, brings to his post more than 35 years of experience in military and civilian aerospace
program management and education.
As the director of F.I.T. Aviation LLC, Thomas oversees flight training and operations at the facility at the Melbourne International Airport. He is also
an assistant professor in the Florida Institute of Technology College of Aeronautics.
While in the U.S. Air Force, Thomas was an instructor for aerodynamics, computers and aircraft systems. He has developed commercial space launch
infrastructure, directed Eastern Range Operations, managed the development and deployment of a state-of-the-art Aerostat radar system, and managed the
program control function for several military satellite programs.
As a U.S. Air Force pilot, he served tours in B-52s and AC-130 gunships and was an instructor pilot. He was the commander of the Eastern Test Range at
Patrick Air Force Base before retirement from the Air Force in 1988.
At the Spaceport Florida Authority (SFA), now Space Florida, Thomas was the deputy director and acted as the director of operations. He retired from the
SFA in 1991.
Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Alabama, and a M.B.A. in Research and Development Management from Florida State
University. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with six oak leaf clusters and the Meritorious Service
Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
Still an avid pilot, the Cocoa Beach resident holds Air Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor certificates. He is part owner of a Beechcraft
Sierra (BE24) based in Melbourne.
F.I.T. Aviation provides flight training to Florida Tech College of Aeronautics. The college offers six aviation-related Bachelor of Science degrees; three
have a flight option. Flight instructors also train non-aeronautics majors and members of the area community, such as Florida Air Academy students. F.I.T.
Aviation also maintains and rents aircraft, offers communication backup for NASA’s space shuttle launches, and supports Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute
in marine surveys.
For more information about F.I.T. Aviation LLC, contact Thomas at (321) 674-6514 or Thomas@FITAviation.com, or go to www.FITAviation.com.