Mt. Vermon: The Mt. Vernon Outland Airport has been selected by AIRGO Incorporated, located in Centralia, to train Chinese students to fly commercial planes, according to Chris Collins, the airport director.

“I’m excited,” Collins said. “It’s an opportunity for the airport and it’s a big economic opportunity for the region.”

The airport will be a satellite operations base for AIRGO, which trains students from India and China for work in their respective countries’ airlines.

“The owners of AIRGO would like to see 200 students per year in Southern Illinois,” Collins stated. “Since this number is far too many for any one of our airports to handle on its own, the owners of AIRGO reached out to the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport to play a part in AIRGO’s expansion plans.”

According to Collins, about 20 male Chinese students will train for 14 months in single engine planes and then will progress to twin engine planes which can range from two seat Cessna 152’s to Beechcraft KingAir Turbos.

At the end of their training, and to graduate, the students must complete the curriculum with 20 hours of high altitude, twin turboprop training.

The students are expected to start on Monday, Aug. 1.

13/07/16 Emily Shapiro/Register-News

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