Flight training program bill clears House panel

A bill seeking funding to launch an international flight training program in Hilo cleared the state House’s Committee on Higher Education on Tuesday.

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A bill seeking funding to launch an international flight training program in Hilo cleared the state House’s Committee on Higher Education on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 3092 — introduced by Sen. Gilbert Kahele, D-Hilo, vice chairman of the Committee on Higher Education — seeks funding for a program coordinator and technical support staff member to complete the necessary planning required for a flight training center and associated aeronautical training programs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College.

The House committee’s members recommended the bill without any amendments. Next, it must pass the House Finance Committee prior to heading to a floor vote before the end of the legislative aession on May 2.

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In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, Kahele said he thinks funds should be made available for the program.

“I think it would be well worth it and a huge return to the state, to the economy, to the community in Hilo, and to the whole state of Hawaii,” he said.

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