Mid-Way Regional Airport is exploring the possibility of bringing students onto the airport for an aviation education program.

During the board’s meeting Thursday, airport manager Darrell Phillips said he is reaching out to the Midlothian and Waxahachie ISDs to see if they would be interested in such a program.

Both school districts have career and technical education programs that prepare students for the challenges of post-secondary education and a completive workplace, he said.   

“I have been working with Embry-Riddle and trying to get a satellite class started in the region somewhere,” he said. “I hope this could be a part of that as well. They have a great high school program where kids can get a couple of years of credits for college as they do the program.

“Right now, the aviation industry is booming,” he said. “For every aircraft that flies there are 3,000 people on the ground supporting those airplanes. I think that it is a great opportunity for both communities to get these kids involved. Not only the kids but anyone who wants to do continuing education.”

According to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s website, the school enrolls more than 34,000 students annually and offers more than 100 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.

Board members asked Phillips what the airport would have to provide to have an educational program.

There would need to be a classroom space to accommodate from 20 to 30 students, he said, noting many of the classes are done online.

The board asked Phillips to also reach out to other communities, such as Red Oak, to see if they would be interested in such a program. Phillips said that he would.

“We are just putting something on the table to see what is out there and what we can do if there is a good interest,” Phillips said. “It is great for the airport to be involved in the community and the schools.”

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