LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Air+Space Academy is establishing the national headquarters for the program in the Hangar 7 complex at historic Bowman Field (KLOU).
The program was first established in 2010 by Dr. Tim Smith as the Kentucky Institute for Aerospace Education and based out of Frankfort. Over the next five years, the program grew and expanded to include more than 30 schools in Kentucky and Tennessee.
As the program continued to grow, the need arose for a permanent headquarters to house the program staff, educational and training activities, and aircraft that have been donated to the program, according to officials.
“We are thrilled with the Hangar 7 property and location,” said Smith. “The location is highly visible and accessible, there is room to grow, and right out our back door we have access to one of the premier general aviation facilities in America. We are excited to bring our program here and to bring new life, energy, and activity to Bowman Field and to the Louisville community.”
Hangar 7, which was originally housed an Army Reserve Aviation unit, has been empty for a number of years. While the facility is in need of a major renovation, the program is making minor improvements and will operate from there while contributions are raised to do a complete makeover, according to officials. It is anticipated that this process will be complete in the next two years.
Originally a regional project, the Air+Space Academy is now offering it program to schools across the country.
In a ceremony to be held Feb. 10, at Hangar 7, members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) executive team and the mayor’s staff will join the board, staff, teachers and students of the program to officially kick off the nationwide initiative.
Hangar 7 will serve students, teachers, administrators, and instructors from the program on a local, regional, and national level. Participants from all around the country will come to Louisville and Bowman Field to participate in training programs, competitions, aircraft maintenance and restoration, simulator flights, satellites launches, flight training, summer camps, as well as day to day after school programs for students in the local area.