MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WFIE) - People gathered in the Muhlenberg County Airport Monday to hear airport, city and college officials announce the new aviation program.
Officials said we’re facing a worldwide shortage of pilots. They hope this program will bring growth to the area.
“With aviation being one of Kentucky’s number one export industries, we need to have it here in Western Kentucky,” said Rep. Melinda Gibbons-Prunty, Kentucky House of Representatives, 15th District. “They can get the education and training here at home then go out and get a good paying job.”
Muhlenberg County Airport is one of two learning sites through the program.
Their students will get fixed-wing training, which is for airplanes.
Madisonville Airport is the second site.
There, they’ll offer helicopter training. You can choose either or do both.
“These are training programs that within two years students can have multiple flight licenses,” said Dr. Cindy Kelley, Madisonville Community College President. “So it opens up the opportunity for them to get jobs here or throughout the country.”
Officials say the program will include full-motion flight simulators at both locations to make sure pilots have training in varied environments.
“Those are opportunities that students have never had here and we hope it’ll bring people into the area,” Kelley said.
Officials spoke about their hopes for economic growth in the Madisonville area.
“We live in a time when people demand their goods the same day or the next day and they demand to be places almost immediately,” said Todd Bloch, Kentucky Department of Aviation commissioner. “We cannot meet that need without being in the air.”