Flight agreement taking off at BGSU

Bowling
Green State University trustees agreed to lease its airport facilities
to a Minnesota firm that has already started providing flight training
to students.
The
partnership with North Star Aviation, operating as the Bowling Green
Flight Center, took off this semester. The trustees’ action earlier
today leases the land the airport sits on to the
company. That will allow the flight center to build a new hangar and
classroom space along with providing flight instruction.
University
faculty will continue to provide the classroom instruction for students
working toward a bachelor’s of science in technology with a
concentration in aviation.
“Our
faculty will continue to oversee the program,” said David Kielmeyer,
university spokesman. “No faculty positions have been eliminated as a
result of this.”
The
university hopes the new arrangement will give students “a better
flight experience,” said Venu Dasigi, interim dean of the College of
Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering.
The
Bowling Green Flight Center will be able to invest more in planes and
facilities. That will be essential, said Joe Frizado, who negotiated the
agreement when he was interim dean of the
college, as the program expands.
About
120 students are now enrolled. Frizado said he hopes that would
increase to 200 as the Federal Aviation Administration requires pilots
to have a bachelor’s degree.
The
flight training has been conducted by part-time instructors hired by
the university. Most of them will be hired by North Star, Frizado said.
He said the company plans to start work on the new facilities this spring and should have them completed
by the end of the year.
North Star already has a similar arrangement with the University of Minnesota Mankato.
President
Mary Ellen Mazey told the trustees that this is the kind of
collaboration with outside entities the university is pursuing to
enhance programs while keeping costs down. She cited
the Falcon Health Center as another example.
A university news release stated that BGSU has sold its nine planes and related tools and equipment to
the company.
The
release quotes Dasigi saying: “BGSU will be positioned to increase
enrollment at a time when the demand for pilots is on the rise.”