AUGUSTA — The aviation program at University of Maine at Augusta is expanding its wingspan to Brunswick Landing with plans to offer classes and housing at the former Naval air station starting this fall.

There are currently about 35 to 40 students in the four-year program launched in the fall of 2013, and the university hopes to add up to another 24 students this fall, said Sheri Fraser, dean of enrollment services at UMA.

This will be the first time in a number of years the university, the only one in the University of Maine System without on-campus housing, has provided housing for some students, Fraser said.

“Nationally, there is a high demand for pilots, and that is going to increase over the next few years,” she said. “As we have more housing available for our students, we expect that we will be an even more attractive option for students out of Maine.”

The university is in a partnership with Maine Instrument Flight at the Augusta State Airport to provide the facilities, equipment and flight instructors for the flight school program.

Greg Jolda, coordinator of the aviation program, said the ability to provide eight to 12 students with housing at Brunswick Landing in collaboration with Southern Maine Community College was the primary reason for expanding to the program to the formal Naval air station. Classes will be held at both Augusta and Brunswick, and students will be able to take classes at both locations remotely, he said.


Holding instructional classes at Brunswick Landing will also allow the program to utilize the campus’ “8,000-foot, beautiful runway,” Jolda said.

Students taking classes in Brunswick will be able to travel to Augusta to use the full-motion Redbird FMX flight trainer the university purchased last summer, Jolda said. The flight simulator, which is used to supplement the students’ flight training and as a teaching tool, is one of only two like it in the state.

The university will hold an open house and information session Friday for anyone interested in the program. The open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Maine Instrument Flight at the Augusta State Airport, and prospective students will be split off to tour the Augusta and Brunswick locations following the event.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_koenig

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