Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 406 in Bremerton, Washington, and the Port of Bremerton have signed an agreement to use the former Bremerton National Airport firehouse as an aviation education center.
The Bremerton Aviation Center for Education (BACE) will provide an opportunity for hands-on learning for young people interested in a future in aviation.
The facility will have a large-format flight simulator, workstations for fabricating aircraft components, and an aviation library.
Officials expect the facility will be shared with the Peninsula Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.
“The creation of BACE will provide a follow-on experience for the young people previously introduced to aviation through the EAA Young Eagles program. Young Eagles has provided free introductory flights to over 2 million kids between the ages of 8 and 17,” said Michael Friend, president of Bremerton-based EAA chapter 406. “Local aerospace companies and airlines have pointed out that they face a shortage of trained new employees, and estimates of future needs for the number of pilots, mechanics, and technicians run into the millions. BACE is intended to give young people a running start at these exciting jobs. There are several successful examples in the region of programs such as this, and BACE will bring these opportunities to young people in Kitsap County.”
“This is a perfect fit for the Industrial Park and we are very excited to support this group at our airport,” said Jim Rothlin, Port of Bremerton CEO. “It completely aligns with the Port Commission’s vision for Bremerton National Airport of promoting the education and experience of the airport industry.”
The former airport firehouse has been used for many years as a storage space for airport maintenance equipment and will require some renovation to be useable as a training facility, officials note.
BACE will be reaching out to businesses in the local area for support in bringing the building up to snuff for an expected grand opening in the spring of 2018.