CWU aviation program ready to soar - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU aviation program ready to soar

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ELLENSBURG--Central Washington University already has the state's only four-year aviation program.  Now, it's ready to soar to new heights.

CWU welcomed visitors to its new million-dollar aviation building Saturday.  The building offers five cockpit labs and two state-of-the-art flight simulators, modeled after a Beechcraft Technically Advanced Aircraft and a Bombardier jet plane, respectively.

Aviation department chair Amy Hoover said CWU now offers potential pilots a huge advantage over the competition when it comes time to find a job.

"There's one at the University of North Dakota, one at Arizona State, one at Embry Riddle and now we have one here," Hoover said.  "We're actually the only school on the West Coast who have this at a university campus."

About 180 students are currently enrolled in the university's aviation program.

These new gadgets may not be limited to college kids though.  Hoover said they eventually want to open this to the public.