College of Business and Technology dean, 308.865.1547
UNK- University of Nebraska at Kearney officials today said that a tentative agreement has been reached between UNK, Otis Air Service and the City of Kearney for the UNK Aviation Systems Management Program.
With the retirement of the previous fixed base operator at Kearney Regional Airport this fall, the UNK program suspended flight operations, effective Oct. 1. With the pending agreement in place, limited training flights have now resumed.
“The Aviation Systems Management faculty, along with key personnel from the City of Kearney and Otis Air Service, have worked cooperatively and urgently to re-establish limited flight instruction for our students as of Oct. 31,” said Dr. Tim Burkink, dean of the UNK College of Business and Technology. “Negotiations are ongoing between all parties to reach an agreement that will allow the program to return to full capacity in the near future.
“I am confident these negotiations will be successfully completed very soon,” Dr. Burkink said. “I want to express my gratitude to all parties for keeping the needs of our students a top priority.”
The UNK program, which was established in the early 1980s, currently has 80 students in management and flight operations.
“We don’t own planes for the program,” Dr. Burkink said. “We use planes supplied by the fixed base operator. Once final negotiations are in place, we expect additional planes will be available, and we will return to full training.”
“We are currently looking at three training aircraft to meet student needs, with plans to add complex and multi-engined experiences,” said Steve Amundson, who teaches in the program.