City approves $5.5M investment for Houston flight school
Houston City Council approved Houston Airports to use $5.5 million from its Airport Improvement Fund to build the Texas Southern University Flight Academy at Ellington Airport.
The new facility will add to student learning with TSU’s aviation program and internships. Construction will begin in May of 2024 with an expected completion of May 2025.
“The investment in this facility allows Houston to remain at the forefront of supporting the rapid growth of the air transportation industry in the United States,” Mayor Sylvester Turner says in a news release. “I am honored that the City of Houston is taking the initiative to build this facility, which will provide numerous opportunities for Houstonians in the future."
TSU expanded its flight training fleet at Ellington Airport with the addition of a new Cessna 172, which brings the university to nine aircrafts that are available to help expand the program.TSU also has a virtual airport laboratory that trains pilots, air traffic controllers, and airport officers.
Construction is expected to begin in May of 2024 with an anticipated completion of May 2025. Rendering courtesy of Houston Airport Systen
The facility will be two acres and built on land accessible to an existing taxi-lane connection. The facility includes a 24,000 square foot aircraft hangar, an 11,000 square feet of aircraft apron, a 4,200 square feet of office/training/classroom space, an 8,000 gallon above-ground aviation fuel tank, and vehicle parking.
“This new facility is a major step toward Texas Southern University becoming the premier destination for training pilots and aviation professionals of the future,” TSU Interim President Mary Evans Sias says in a news release. “Our aviation program has reached heights in achievement that are unprecedented for the state of Texas. We look forward to the future aviators who will come through these doors and leave prepared to seize the opportunities in aviation, which we know are only increasing. We are deeply appreciative of the City of Houston for making this investment into TSU, and we know the return on this investment will be worthwhile.”
The Houston City Council approved a memorandum of agreement this past May for five years between Houston Airports and TSU.
“Houston Airports is a proud partner of TSU as it educates and inspires the next generation of pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers,” Mario Diaz, director of Aviation for Houston Airports, says in a news release. “From training pilots during World War 1, and NASA astronauts as they prepared to step on the moon, to now training the next generation of aviation professionals, Ellington Airport continues to play a crucial role in Houston’s aviation history.”