East Hawaii News

Funding Released for Aeronautical Program at UH-Hilo, HCC

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A $100,000 appropriation from the past legislative session for an aeronautical training program in Hilo has been released, acting Gov. Shan Tsutsui said.

The funds will go towards the hiring of a program coordinator and technical staff member to complete plans for an international training center under the University of Hawai`i at Hilo and Hawaii Community College.

“The study is the first step towards developing an aeronautical training program, which aims to address the growing demand for pilots,” Tsutsui said. “This program has the potential to serve as a pipeline into high-wage jobs and the STEM industry for our students.”

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Hawai`i Island, and in particular Hilo, has everything you need to support a world class aviation university program,” Sen. Gilbert Kahele (D-Hilo) said in a statement.

Kahele said the appropriation creates the foundation for an aviation and aerospace program that will be a “beacon in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“With the rapid advancement of fixed wing, rotary and high-technology aircraft systems, the University of Hawaiʻi is poised to be on the forefront of this global demand,” he said.

According to Act 272, of which Kahele was a primary sponsor, a proposed pilot program will be administered at UH-Hilo, while the proposed helicopter pilot program and unmanned aircraft systems pilot program will be conducted through HCC.


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