Flight School Cleared for Takeoff at Regional Airport

VIENNA, Ohio – The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport will once again be home to a flight school where pilots can earn their wings, thanks to a partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College.

“This was one of my top goals, to get a flight school started in Youngstown,” said Anthony Trevena, executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority, which oversees airport operations. “For me, personally, this was extremely exciting.”

The port authority announced the flight school’s rollout at its Wednesday meeting, Trevena said. He said he hopes to enroll its first students in November.

“We’re partnering with Eastern Gateway Community College on this,” Trevena said. The port authority is also working toward an articulation agreement with Kent State University in which students could obtain their flight certification and apply credits toward KSU’s aviation program.

The new flight school will immediately offer a certificate program, Trevena said. Students will train on a single engine Cessna 172 and initially a nonmotion simulator. However, a $244,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission will allow for the addition of full-motion simulation. 

“That’s a pretty big deal,” Trevena said. “It enables us over the next couple of years to acquire two new simulators for the school.”

The Cessna is an “outstanding piece of equipment” with upgraded avionics, Trevena added. 

Trevena said establishing a flight school at the airport has been a priority of his since he was appointed the port authority’s executive director nearly two years ago.

The airport hasn’t run a flight school on site for many years, he noted. Plus, demand for pilots is greater than ever and a local flight school presents an ideal opportunity to fill that gap in the labor market.

“It’s not just for college students wanting to become commercial pilots,” Trevena said. The courses are available for adults who are interested in obtaining their pilot’s license. 

“It really creates a fraternity,” Trevena said. “It’s a great thing to be a part of.”

Those interested in enrolling in the flight school should contact Amelia Taggart, director of workforce at Eastern Gateway Community College at 1-800-COLLEGE ext. 2110.

The port authority’s board also approved a $3 million earmark that will serve as a local match for $5 million in federal funds it was awarded for improvements to the airport runway.

The board also OK’d a $350,000 allocation of American Rescue Plan Act monies from Trumbull County that would be used to improve sanitary lines to acreage on airport property.

“It helps clean up a long-standing problem,” he said. While it might save money for the airport in the long-term, it also opens up the potential to develop additional land at the airport.

“We want to turn as much of our land into productive use,” he said, noting opportunities in workforce training, education or potential manufacturing opportunities. “Our goal is to use every ounce of property we can and make it shovel-ready.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.