APSU unveils Aviation Science Facility during ribbon-cutting ceremony
(Posted June 11, 2021)
A black Robinson R44 helicopter emblazoned with the Austin Peay State University logo swooped low over a cheering crowd at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Regional Airport on Friday morning. The aircraft, the newest addition to APSU’s growing helicopter fleet, carried Austin Peay President Michael Licari and his special guest, F&M Bank President and CEO Sammy Stuard, to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new APSU Aviation Science Facility at the airport.
“Today is an exciting day for APSU and for the aviation science program,” Licari said. “We are thrilled to share this new facility with the public.”
In 2019, Austin Peay launched its Bachelor in Science in Aviation Science with a concentration in rotor wing, making it the state’s first and only helicopter flight school that awards bachelor’s degrees. After working closely with the Clarksville-Montgomery County Regional Airport Authority, officials with APSU’s College of STEM planned to unveil the program’s new facility last year. The COVID-19 pandemic ultimately delayed that ceremony, even though the program continued forward, with six students earning their private pilot helicopter certificates in the fall 2020 semester.
During Friday’s ceremony, Stuard, who also serves as chair of the regional airport authority, presented the aviation science program with a $100,000 donation on behalf of F&M Bank.
“This is a premier program in Tennessee and a premier program for Clarksville-Montgomery County,” Stuard said. “It’s just another example of how Clarksville-Montgomery County is stepping forward, moving up and moving out and increasing the quality of life for people here.”
The APSU Aviation Science Facility at the Clarksville Regional Airport includes a hangar, classroom space, a flight simulation room, a computer work area for rotorcraft students and room for flight instructors and a mechanic.
The program is approved for veterans education benefits, meaning veterans can earn the degree at “little or no cost.” That approval is an important aspect of the program because it was designed to help veterans, Fort Campbell pilots and civilians pursue competitive careers such as flight instruction, aerial tourism and charter operations.
“We are proud that it also provides a meaningful connection between APSU and our friends at Fort Campbell,” Licari said.
For more about Austin Peay’s aviation science program, visit apsu.edu/programs/undergraduate/aviation-science-rotor-wing.php.
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