Joint effort to locate a University Program at Yeager
Aviation Graduates NEEDED
Aviation needs skilled, trained personnel to function safely. Though the reasons for a forecast shortage are debated, the need for mechanics, pilots, controllers is irrefutable. The deficit and efforts to increase recruitment and education (including Congress) have been discussed:
- Congress offers bills intended to help on AMT shortage
- Controller shortages point to an urgent need to hire, but the future job specs must be defined
- Shortage of Pilots & Mechanics needs an immediate, aggressive & comprehensive response by academia, industry & the FAA
- RAA’s Initiative on Pilot Shortage may result in Creative Ideas
- United Airlines and Metro State University offer a path to the cockpit, but is it enough to prime the pilot pump?
- ARSA provides the #s needed for stimulating AMT qualifications
Yeager Airport and Marshall University see an opportunity and are studying the possibility with MU officials for the next 12 months.The Airport Board authorized its executive director, Terry Sayre, to sign a memorandum of understanding with MU President Jerome Gilbert and MU Research Corporation Director John Maher calling for all parties to “determine the feasibility and sustainability of creating an aviation school” at Yeager.The contemplated institution might include pilot training, aeronautical science study, aviation maintenance training, air traffic control, unmanned aerial vehicle flight and other fields related to the aviation industry. The university would cross-utilize existing academic resources — Marshall’s Robert C. Byrd Institute of Advanced and Flexible Manufacturing, its Appalachian Transportation Institute, its College of Education and Professional Development and its College of Information Technology and Engineering. Degrees offered could include bachelor’s, associate’s and nondegree certificates.The CRW location for Marshall’s Flying Herd campus would be adjacent to the east end of Yeager’s now closed cross-wind runway, which primarily served smaller general aviation aircraft. That location is situated within a 25-acre patch of undeveloped airport-owned land that lies between and behind the Air National Guard and general aviation ramps. The site will be preserved for this addition until the study is completed.Assistant Director Nick Keller said Oak Hill High School, in Fayette County, is offering its students an aeronautical education component, which is likely to be incorporated by other schools in the region, providing a potential pipeline of students into a collegiate aviation program in Charleston.
This addition to West Virginia’s educational resources makes sense in that the state’s aerospace companies constitute one of its fastest growing sectors. Higher profitability, lower labor costs and utility savings contribute to the successful operations within the state. Companies also capitalize upon a large supply of experienced industry workers to help meet their labor needs. West Virginia provides strategic access to the top domestic purchasing sectors of aerospace products and to national defense contractors, corporations, the federal government and other industrial customers and suppliers.
WEST, by God, VIRGINIA
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