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Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport witnesses the groundbreaking for a new flight school complex by Summit Aviation



Bozeman, Montana — The situation for aspiring pilots at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is improving. A brand-new facility to support kids’ growth has just broken ground.

“The very first time I flew a plane, I remember being so scared and anxious as I was taxying up to the runway but once i was up in the air, all that anxiety was gone,” said William Solberg.

Solberg is just one of the several spectators that came out to see the groundbreaking for Summit Aviation, which will serve as the aviation program’s training facility for Gallatin College and Montana State University.

“It’s got an awesome curriculum and it was an added bonus to know that almost all the instructors have been through the program themselves,” said Solberg.

The president and chief executive officer of Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Brian Sprenger, is one person who has taken courses through Summit Aviation. He claims that this is just one of the numerous construction initiatives that the airport will undergo, such as:

“A 170-million-dollar terminal project that’s in the design process and about $70 million worth of airfield projects,” said Sprenger.

In 2009, Sprenger enrolled at Summit Aviation and recalls the program’s modest beginnings. And now?

“It’s a big operation that will require a big facility,” said Sprenger.

A 14,000-square-foot building will be located on the airport’s northern side.

According to Summit Aviation President Ben Walton, the building will house a Departure Lounge for private clients. Additionally, there will be office space for the business’s acclaimed flight school, aircraft sales representatives, a simulation lab for the several simulators used by the flight school, additional 37,000 square feet of hangar space, and more.

“We basically get our own runway over here,” said Solberg.

According to Walton, this will increase the pupils’ efficiency and safety.

“For the last 20 years we’ve been sharing the runway with all the airlines and the private jet traffic,” said Walton.

Walton anticipates a smoother ride over the following 20 years with even more student pilots at the controls.

Summit Aviation is currently training 102 students.

“It continues to grow and becomes more popular, so this allows us to accommodate even more students and really contribute to this pilot shortage right now—because it’s real,” said Walton.

In January 2024, the facility will be operative. The summit will keep empowering students with the self-assurance they require until that time, so they can spread their wings like Solberg.

“In the future, I want to be flying jets back in my home state of Alaska,” he said.


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