University of North Dakota inks deal to train Norwegian air traffic controllers
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks (ND) Herald
The University of North Dakota’s John D. Odegaard School of Aerospace Sciences will be announcing today a new contract that could bring as many as 180 Norwegian air traffic control trainees to campus over the next five years.
Chuck Pineo, executive director of the UND Aerospace Foundation, said the foundation Tuesday worked out the final details of a three-year contract with Avinor, a state-owned company that runs Norway’s airports.
When the contract expires, the company has the option of renewing it for another two years. Each year, the university would train between 28 and 36 controllers.
For UND, Tuesday’s contract is itself a renewal of a relationship that started in spring 2001, when the university first trained Norwegian air-traffic controllers. That contract ended in summer 2004.
Pineo said that relationship, along with the university’s reputation for quality and value, probably helped snag the new contract. He said he couldn’t yet disclose the value of the contract.
The UND Aerospace Foundation is the business arm of the university’s aerospace school, assisting it with private contracts around the world.
It was responsible for a smaller and shorter contract that brought 12 Norwegian trainees to town in January on a nine-month training cycle. Another recent contract is a $17 million deal to train up to 48 Saudi helicopter pilots that started in May 2009.
UND is expected to make a formal announcement today after the contract with Avinor is signed.