MTSU remains committed to leasing spaces at Murfreesboro Airport to train aviation majors despite a proposed center for Smyrna Airport, Murfreesboro Airport Manager Chad Gehrke said.
He sent the following statement out to officials to explain Middle Tennessee State University’s continued partnership with his airport:
“Recently I have received a number of questions regarding the DNJ article and other documents about the MTSU proposal to establish a Center of Excellence for flight training at the Smyrna Airport. The MTSU proposal for a Center of Excellence at the Smyrna Airport will not have an impact on the flight training or maintenance training that occurs at the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport.
“The proposal does not have any mention of aircraft or facilities that are currently based at Murfreesboro moving to Smyrna. The proposed Center of Excellence is a completely different program which is designed to meet requirements and that have been established in new regulations in the aviation industry.
“It is also an opportunity for the MTSU Aerospace Department to be able to provide various aviation educational and time building opportunities to post graduate students and other groups and agencies.
“I understand, the curriculum that Dr. Ferrara and Terry Dorris are proposing is a different type of training and education from the traditional college education that is currently provided on the main MTSU campus and Airport Campus here in Murfreesboro.
“This Center of Excellence could allow for MTSU to be more flexible in its training and educational programs allowing them to perhaps tailor more to the customer’s needs. Whether that customer is an airline needing to train its new hires or if it involves new FAA requirements or certifications that MTSU’s Center of Excellence could be the location in the nation where people go to get that training.
“Again, this proposal has no impact to the MTSU operations and facilities at the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport. The new Airport Layout Plan for the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport and all of its recommended improvements are relevant and are still moving forward.