Duluth - The Lake Superior College (LSC) Foundation has received $250,000 from the Monaco Family Charitable Fund to purchase equipment and support program costs for the Center for Advanced Aviation, (CAA).
The CAA program is a growing educational partnership between LSC and major industry partners Cirrus Design, Inc., Northstar Aerospace, Monaco Air Duluth, the Duluth International Airport and others. Based at the Duluth International Airport, the Center will train specialists in aircraft maintenance, professional piloting, avionics, management and aircraft manufacturing specifically for the general aviation field. General aviation includes all aviation other than scheduled commercial and military flights. The general aviation market consists of 96 percent of U.S. aircraft, 60 percent of flight hours and employs 1.3 million people in the U.S.
“This donation reflects my support for the tremendous potential of general aviation,” said Don Monaco, owner of Monaco Air Duluth. “The rapidly growing number of technically-advanced aircraft will need skilled professionals and Lake Superior College is well-positioned to provide this type of training.”
Monaco Air Duluth is a fixed base operator at the Duluth International Airport which offers fuel, aircraft maintenance and parts service, hangar rental and other general, commercial and military related services including international quick turn support.
“We appreciate Don Monaco’s passion for aviation and his ongoing support of Lake Superior College,” said Matt Ferrari, CAA director. “It’s a vote of confidence from someone who knows the business and understands our goals and objectives.”
“Through his work on our community advisory committee, Don Monaco has provided us with sound guidance in expanding our aviation program,” said Dr. Kathleen Nelson, president of Lake Superior College. “We are honored and grateful to receive his gift. It provides substantial momentum for our program and will enable us to secure additional funding from other sources.”
The mission of the Lake Superior College Foundation is to support the educational, cultural, and service goals of Lake Superior College by acting as its designated friend and fundraiser. Visit the Web site at: www.lsc.edu/Foundation/index.cfm.
Assuming the City Council approves the airport authority's involvement in the deal, Ryks said Monaco Aviation could come on board as Duluth International's new FBO in November.
Don Monaco hopes to bring more charter activity to the airport, possibly including an air taxi service.
Besides Duluth, Mager said two other facility sites are still being considered: Sioux Falls, S.D., and Columbia, S.C.