WHEELING — The Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics is looking to establish a relationship with the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport.
Ohio County Commissioner Zach Abraham, who recently formed the Ohio County Airport Authority board, spoke at this week’s commission meeting of a recent visit by PIA to the airport.
“They came to the airport just to see what kind of educational opportunities we could look at for the airport,” Abraham said. “They actually partner or set up their facilities at these airports.”
PIA already has locations in Youngstown, Ohio; Hagerstown, Maryland and Myrtle Beach. Its primary location is outside the Pittsburgh International Airport.
The school offers education in aviation mechanics and aviation electronics. These are two-year programs.
“We were exploring that, and if we had the potential numbers to start recruiting people for these services. It would be like a workforce development sort of thing,” Abraham said.
“They didn’t think right now there would be the numbers for that to be viable, but they did think there were some things they could do to support us in other ways.”
Sometimes PIA partners with other technical schools, so representatives of both West Liberty University and West Virginia Northern Community College were present for discussions with PIA, according to Abraham.
“Sometimes they will do what is called an ‘articulation agreement,’” he explained. “That means they will be the entity that supplies resources or tools, and that will flow through any type of certificate or diploma arrangement for individuals in those programs.”
Those present also learned about PIA’s use of flight simulators, its connections with other agencies and the tools it could provide locally.
There also is potential for flight schools and engineering at the airport, he said.