Hoeven Marks 50th Anniversary Of UND’s John D. Odegard School Of Aerospace Sciences

Senator Highlights Efforts to Allow UND to Provide Flight Training for CBP Agents, Air Force ROTC Cadets, Helicopter Pilots & Veterans

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today marked the 50th Anniversary of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota (UND). Hoeven stressed how the school bolsters the state’s leadership in aviation for both unmanned and manned aircraft. The senator also highlighted how, in addition to UND’s role in establishing the region as a hub of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) research, development, training and operations, he is working to leverage the school’s expertise to help alleviate the pilot shortage.

“For decades, UND has been essential in maintaining the safety and reliability of general and commercial aviation in our state, which greatly benefits our ability to do business and enhances our quality of life,” Hoeven said. “Further, as the lead for the FAA’s UAS Center of Excellence, this institution is helping to advance our economy into the future by expanding our state’s leadership in the unmanned aircraft industry. Today, we commemorate the Odegard School’s long history of service to North Dakota, while also looking to its future. Our nation is facing a shortage of qualified pilots in military, federal and private operations, and we are confident that UND’s flight school can help address this growing need.”

 Hoeven has worked through his role on the Defense and Homeland Security Appropriations Committees, as well as the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to advance partnerships between UND and federal agencies and create opportunities for the flight school’s students. This includes:

  • Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Pathways Program, through which students can be recruitedas air interdiction agents.
  • Securing funding for Air Force ROTC cadets and helicopter pilots to train at flight schools like UND

 Hoeven also recently helped introduce the American Aviator Act, bipartisan legislation that supports flight-trainingservices for veterans who want to become commercial airline pilots. Hoeven’s bill would authorize grants under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for flight schools like UND that have established pathways to employment with commercial air carriers to recruit and enroll veterans who are not already military pilots. This will help ensure there are enough qualified pilots in the future to continue providing safe and reliable air service to rural airports across the country.