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DSU Aviation program receives $30,000 from Republic Airways

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

Delaware State University received $30,000 from Republic Airways to boost its Aviation program.

Republic Airways is one of the preferred regional airlines DSU students can join when they start their careers as professional pilots.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hales is Director of DSU’s Aviation Program. He says that the relationship is mutually beneficial.

“The cool thing about Republic is that there are so many of our graduates, recent graduates, who are there right now,” said Hale. “And they are the influence. They’re the ones who come back as mentors to our students here in the Aviation Program. And so we really love Republic. And Republic is a great place to work as an airline pilot.”

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media
Republic Airways officials join DSU officials and students in announcing a donation to DSU's Aviation program

The money from Republic will help offset student fees and purchase flight simulators

Flight simulators are helpful in many ways. They can be used for current students to study in a hands-on way, and help them avoid paying flight lab fees.

And Hales says that they also help with recruitment.

“We intend to bring those simulators so they can get exposure to flying. You know it’s almost like a video game, but a lot more sophisticated,” said Hales. “And our goal is to just kind of plant that seed so they can think about ‘hey, you know, maybe I could do something in aviation, and maybe I can do it at Delaware State University’ and that’s the goal.”

Hales notes many students in the places they recruit have had very little exposure to flying, or planes in general.

Both Delaware State and Republic Airways want to make sure the Aviation Program is accessible to all. They’re seeking to diversify the airways, adding more women and people of color, groups historically underrepresented in the field.