SEMO University unveils new planes for aviation program

Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - SEMO University unveiled three new Redhawk branded Cessna 172 airplanes on Saturday.

Students of the new program, officials and guests were able to view the planes for the first time.

SEMO State University President Dr. Carlos Vargas said this was a milestone in which it engages with the community and promotes economic development.

“The airport is going to benefit from our program here because there’s going to be students flying in and out, landing, taking off,” Vargas said. “That’s something that is beneficial from the airport’s from the point of view from the utilization of the airport. So from that perspective, we are contributing to the economic development of the region but also, the university is now having in place a program that is very appreciated.”

SEMO State University’s Assistant Professor for the Pro Pilot Ground School Miranda Sullivan said it’s a four-year degree program with the majority of their training done within two years.

“This is something that’s really unique and awesome about Southeast Missouri State’s Professional Pilot Program is that they start their students flying the first day,” Sullivan said. “We get them in the air, we get them engaged with the instructors, with the airport, with the campus. That way the students have the best chance for success.”

Base Manager Eric Curtis said it’s a wonderful opportunity for the students, the community and everyone.

“I think really what we’ve seen today is the beginning of people having the courage to pursue their dreams, to go after that,” Curtis said. “We’re able to see how the community is behind them as well so that’s really incredible.”

Classes for the new program start on Monday and has more than 30 students.

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