Apus Air is opening a flight school at Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport to train pilots for the growing Chinese aviation field.
Officials from Apus Air, Li Li “Lilly” and Jia Jia “Jay”, made the announcement today at a press conference held by The Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation in partnership with Daviess County Fiscal Court, City of Owensboro and Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
“Today’s announcement shows that Owensboro-Daviess County is globally competitive,” said Madison Silvert, GO-EDC President and CEO.
“Our plan at this time is to build a $1.25 million dollar office, training, and flight campus right here at OWB,” Lilly stated, adding that the campus will be a hub of activity that will be training hundreds of pilots in a few short years.
Apus Air plans to add 35 employees for the OWB location.
“We are excited about our future, and our future is right here in Owensboro,” Lilly said.
“Nice things happen when people work together for the common good.” – Dr. Andrew Ward
Silvert later said the projected 10-year economic impact could reach $28 million with an additional 13 jobs. Much of that money is international money, too.
“Apus Air might seem like an unlikely fit for OWB at first,” admitted Frank Tate, with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, “but this partnership makes for a great opportunity to add to the growing aerospace industry here in Kentucky.”
Airport board chair, Dr. Andrew Ward, explained two major benefits the flight school brings to the airport:
- It helps keep our control tower- flight activity from the flight school will count toward OWB’s flight numbers, which will help ensure the control tower
- It generates rental income for the airport, as well as income from fuel and maintenance fees incurred by the flight school
Eighteen months ago, Ward added, OWB had no flight schools. Now there are the three: Excel Aviation, Apus Air, and soon MidAmerica Jet will also be offering flight training.
“These efforts combined will make our control tower and airport viable,” Ward said.
Having a control tower is a factor in attracting additional commercial flights, according to OWB Manager, Bob Whitmer.
Apus Air currently has one other location in the United States, which is in San Diego county, California. Apus Air Flight Training is an FAA 141 certified flight training school that provides training for a Private Pilot license, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot License as well as CFI under Part 141 and Part 61.