EKU Seeking More Standing At Central Kentucky Regional Airport
Eastern Kentucky University is interested in developing a formal standing with its county’s airport. The university is behind legislation expanding EKU’s membership on the air board. The measure passed out of committee this week.
Eastern President David McFaddin said it serves to benefit the school’s already strong aviation program.
“See what we can do to grow investments out there and make that airport not only a destination for our aviation program and how we serve our students, but also an economic driver for things that are going on here and around Madison County,” said McFaddin.
Part of an $8 million state appropriation last year went to purchase aircraft for Eastern’s aviation program. McFaddin said about half that amount is being reserved for capital improvements at the Central Kentucky Regional Airport. McFaddin noted the university is not seeking to take over ownership of the Madison airport, but just to have formal standing. The EKU president said the Richmond school’s aviation program includes 300 students and 30 aircraft. “The restrictor on the program is the ability to acquire training aircraft and to get flight instructors here and so that’s really the biggest hurdle to continuing to grow. We’ve seen a 100% increase in enrollment over the last three years in that program,” explained McFaddin.
In addition to EKU, the city governments of Richmond and Berea along with Madison Fiscal Court all have a vested interest in the airport. McFaddin said the airport, third most active in the state, is also an economic driver.
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