Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Purdue Aviation earns new flight school status

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Aviation LLC has received an upgraded flight school status that paves the way for growing the program and increasing the number of professional pilots.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved the company's Part 141 flight school certification, which will allow students to qualify for their pilot certification in a shorter amount of time.

Purdue Aviation, which is located at the Purdue University Airport, previously only offered flight training under the FAA Part 61 regulation, which involves a less structured training environment. Part 61 pilot certificate holders may also be required to have more flight training hours.

"Part 141 certification is key to the future growth of Purdue Aviation," said Purdue alumnus Scott Niswonger, who co-owns the company, in a Purdue news release. "Receiving this certification is the next logical step as we add services to increase the profile of Purdue Aviation, allowing us to help fill the critical need for more commercial pilots."

Boeing expects the global commercial aviation industry will require 617,000 new pilots in the next 20 years, according to its forecast released last August.

Purdue Aviation officials plan to soon begin offering flight classes based on the Part 141 certification and adding airline industry collaboration to the coursework, the news release stated.

Niswonger, which co-owns the company with the Purdue Research Foundation, in 2015 purchased Purdue Aviation, which was formerly called Lafayette Aviation. That same year, the 980-acre Purdue Research Park Aerospace District was established in the area adjacent to the airport, according to the release.

"This designation by the FAA for Purdue Aviation opens the door for great new opportunities," Dan Hasler, president of Purdue Research Foundation, said in the release. "With the upcoming March opening of the Purdue Technology Center Aerospace building that will house some of Rolls-Royce's (research and development) activities, the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District is taking off."


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