BGSU expands aviation program as nation faces major pilot shortage

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:10 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - Bowling Green State University just expanded its aviation program so students are that much more equipped to fly in the real world. The university’s president says this could have a direct impact on the pilot shortage.

“There was a predicted shortage of pilots and COVID has only caused that shortage to be much for severe, if you will,” says Rodney Rodgers, the president of BGSU. “So we’re fortunate right now to be in a position to be able to expand this program to meet the needs of the aviation industry.”

Audrey Rice just graduated from BGSU’s aviation program and she’s sticking around to get more time in the air and to instruct future pilots. She says she’s excited for the new opportunities this expansion will bring.

“It’s just more credentials, more experience that our students are going to have graduating that are going to help us to stand out for the airlines in order to getting a job,” says Rice.

A $5 million investment is doubling the flight center’s operations. The BG Flight Center will get a new building with technological advancements.

“We have a new simulator coming in, we’re actually getting a jet simulator for students to practice in before they go to the airlines which is pretty crazy,” says Rice. “I don’t know of a whole lot of other programs that have that.”

She’s looking forward to seeing the younger students try out the fancy new toys.

“I mean it’s more opportunities to experience, no other fleet stands out like ours so I don’t know if I know anyone who’s not excited it, I mean, it’s a great opportunity.”

The university’s president says this program is now attracting potential new pilots nationwide.

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