Sun 'n Fun

Western Michigan University To Offer Flight Training in Florida

 - April 6, 2017, 10:50 AM
Western Michigan University came to Sun ‘n' Fun 2017 to showcase what it can offer students in Florida. (Photo: Amy Laboda/AIN)

Student ambassadors and administrators from Western Michigan University’s (WMU) College of Aviation and WMU’s Punta Gorda and Tampa locations are on hand this week at Sun ’n’ Fun 2017, focusing on the university’s recently approved aviation programs to be offered in Florida. 

This fall, WMU will begin offering aviation flight science and aviation management and operations programs in Tampa and Punta Gorda, along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The Higher Learning Commission and Florida’s Commission for Independent Education recently gave approval for WMU to operate regional locations in Punta Gorda, north of Fort Myers, and Riverview, near Tampa.

The Punta Gorda Airport (KPGD) location will offer flight training and aviation science for WMU students. The school is renting classroom space from local college Florida Southwestern State (FSW).

“After meeting with FSW president John Dunn, he sees us as a really significant partner for their future,” Dawn Gaymer, associate provost for extended university programs at WMU, said last fall when the deal was cut in Battle Creek, Michigan. “We focus on delivering programs with a scalable infrastructure,” she continued.

As part of the expansion, Punta Gorda Airport will become the location for FSW’s nascent A&P mechanic certification and degree program, a first for that school. KPGD has experienced exponential growth since it was destroyed and rebuilt after Hurricane Charley in 2004. The airport has a new terminal, hangars and even a contract tower. Airline, charter, light industrial aviation industry, MRO facilities are available on site and, soon, university-level flight and maintenance instruction will be as well.