State Investments to Solidify MGA's Eastman Campus as Georgia's Aerospace Education Hub

Author: Lee Greenway
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 2:05 PM
Categories: Pressroom | School of Aviation

Macon, GA

Middle Georgia State University announced May 10 that its Eastman Campus, located at the Heart of Georgia Regional Airport and home of the institution's School of Aviation, would remain the hub at the center of a three-phase, $13.1 million statewide expansion plan for aerospace education.

On May 2, Gov. Nathan Deal signed the 2017 Appropriations Bill, which allocates $4.2 million for the first phase of the expansion plan.

“Georgia’s aerospace industry has nearly a $51 billion economic impact,” said Dr. Christopher Blake, president of Middle Georgia State University (MGA). “As home to the state’s only four-year public School of Aviation, Middle Georgia State University is uniquely positioned to provide the industry with highly-skilled professionals for all specialties in the field of aviation. Our Eastman Campus is vital to that role.”

The first phase of the expansion will see the School of Aviation offering new programs in Aviation Science and Management with tracks in Aerospace Logistics and Aviation Maintenance Management, as well as offering new flight operations from the Macon Downtown Airport. The first year’s allocation also includes funds for new aircraft for the flight training fleets in both Eastman and Macon and new facilities on the Eastman aviation campus.

In its next two phases, the plan includes adding flight operations in Valdosta, Columbus, Savannah and Camden County and exploring new academic programs, including Aerospace Precision Agriculture, Aerospace Cybersecurity, Commercial Spaceflight and Aerospace Public Health. Phases two and three of the plan include more than 20 aircraft joining the MGA fleets statewide, as well as improvements to the aviation hub in Eastman, such as the addition of a Commercial Space Control facility.

Partnerships with aviation facilities, corporate entities and schools in both the University System and Technical College System of Georgia are also featured in all three phases.

In total, the expansion plan will mean an expenditure of over $7.6 million at the hub in Eastman, and $5.5 million at the five satellite campuses statewide. According to a Center for Economic Analysis report, the expansion will generate a little over $112 million in economic activity in Georgia over a 10-year timeframe, including over $38 million in increased earnings and the creation of almost 150 new jobs.

“We are excited to be expanding our aviation programs to serve students from all regions of the state,” said Blake. “With the expertise of our aviation faculty and our state-of-the-art facilities in Eastman, Middle Georgia State will help ensure that the state of Georgia remains a leader in the field.”