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UND Aerospace school seeing increased interest

UND’s Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences currently has 2000 students enrolled this semester.

"Of those, about 1600 are flying," said UND Aerospace Dean Robert Kraus. He said the demand for the program has never been higher.

"This next fall, we're going to have one of our larger freshmen classes coming in," Kraus said. He said the demand is due to the airline industry's need for workers, and especially pilots.

"Graduates going into the airline industry right now, at a regional carrier, are seeing salaries over $100,000," Kraus said. "Five years ago, it was $60,000 or $70,000 — so the demand is there."

And Kraus said that’s also true of air traffic controllers. He said UND is hoping to be a part of what’s called an enhanced collegiate training initiative for those students.

"A few schools in the country will be selected ," Kraus said. "As long as they meet the criteria that the FAA establishes, the graduates from these programs will go straight to FAA jobs, and not have to go through another air traffic control training academy, which is what everyone currently does."

Kraus said the window for application to be a part of that initiative opens next week, and UND is now putting the final touches on its application.

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