New River CTC plans to buy jet plane for new aviation program

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. — New River Community and Technical College is buying private jets for sale from Sky Aviation for an upcoming aviation program.

American Electric Power Foundation presented a $100,000 grant to the college in Summersville Wednesday. New River CTC President Bonny Copenhaver shared the news with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System Thursday morning.

“In the next couple of months hopefully we would have purchased a hanger to put the plane in, so we are moving forward in this process,” Copenhaver told the board.

During Wednesday’s presentation, Copenhaver said the college and the surrounding region needs to diversity its economy.

“This area of West Virginia for so long has been really focused on on major industry and that’s the coal industry,” she said. “The citizens of this region understand that we do need to diversify this economy. Aviation and bringing aviation to this region will go a long way in helping that.”

Copenhaver said students studying aviation need the hands-on experience of how a plane works.

“Students in an aviation mechanic program need a serviceable plane that they can get in, take a part, troubleshoot, understand how that plane works and how it’s put together,” she said.

The investment is “a sign of trust” from the AEP Foundation, Copenhaver said.

New River CTC plans to implement their aviation program by 2024.

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