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Marshall Breaks Ground On Flight School In Charleston

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Eric Douglas
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WVPB
Attendees at the ground breaking for the new Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School look at an artist's rendering of the facility

Federal, state and local representatives gathered at Yeager Airport in Charleston Thursday to break ground for the new Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School. 

Jerome Gilbert, president of Marshall University, explained that the school learned the aviation industry needed new pilots because they have a federally mandated retirement age. 

“It was after a thorough investigative and fact-finding process, Marshall committed to a flight school to produce commercial pilots with a bachelor’s degree,” Gilbert said  

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Credit Eric Douglas / WVPB
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WVPB
Dignitaries including US Senator Joe Manchin and Jerome Gilbert, president of Marshall University, broke ceremonial ground for the new Bill Noe Flight School at Yeager Airport.

When the Bill Noe Flight School is fully functional, the program will produce 50 commercial pilots annually, he said. Classroom instruction will take place at the Marshall University South Charleston Campus.

Gov. Jim Justice also attended, and said the program will be an economic driver for the state and region. The state already exports more than $150 million in airplane parts annually.

“Just think of the employment, of the attraction to West Virginia that this is going to bring,” Justice said. “I congratulate Marshall, I can congratulate all of you who have done great work here.”

The flight school is named for Bill Noe, a Marshall graduate, pilot and the university’s executive aviation specialist for the new Division of Aviation. 

The aviation school will include a 12,000 square-foot hangar with classes beginning in fall 2021.

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