When Cape Cod Community College first announced its airframe and power plant maintenance program, it was report that students would travel from across the United States to attend the new program.
These transient students would patronize Hyannis area lodging establishments, dine at area restaurants and patronize local businesses while they attended the training program slated to be offered at Barnstable Municipal Airport. Such a program would bring much needed off-season revenue to businesses in the surrounding area, indirectly providing additional jobs in the Barnstable’s economy.
Many readers were disappointed to learn in today’s virtual interview with CCCC President John Cox that the state has had difficulty obtaining space at Barnstable airport to house the program. According to President Cox,
The College has received the Board of Higher Education’s approval of the accelerated dual certificate programs in Airframe and Powerplant and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology.
President Cox further advised that
Presently, any remaining funds disappear on July 1, 2015. We are back working proactively with our state delegation to amend the budget and allow unspent funds to be carried-forward into FY 2016 to enable us to complete the acquisition of our learning space.
The Commonwealth Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance is now advertising for space to house the program at 'Barnstable, Chatham, Mansfield, New Bedford, Plymouth or Taunton at a Commercial Service or General Aviation Airport.'
Concerned that Barnstable and CCCC might lose out on this important program, Cape Cod Today reached out to the Town of Barnstable and received the following statement from Barnstable Municipal Airport Manager Bud Breault:
The Airport is VERY concerned about this issue and we have been working closely with John Cox at the College, DCAMM, and the owners of the hangars 4C's wanted to purchase - Davenport Realty. Unfortunately, the Airport does not have any hangars that we could lease to the College - if we did, it would have been done a long time ago. The problem seems to be between DCAMM and Davenport - "they" cannot reach an agreement acceptable to both parties on the value of the two hangars in question. It appears that a "sale" is not not possible which is why DCAMM has issued an RFP for "space" not necessarily at this Airport - which is unfortunate.
It was also my understanding that Davenport Realty may be submitting a response to the RFP in the hopes of leasing the hangars, but there are no guarantees.
The Airport lead the charge a year or so ago, with help from the Town Council, the Cape legislative delegation, the Massachusetts Airport Management Assoc (MAMA), the Massachusetts Legislature's Aviation Caucus, and the entire state's aviation interest groups to get Governor Patrick's veto of the funding for the school unanimously overridden to get the funds for this school. We are also currently working with all of these same groups to get their FY2015 budget funding for this purpose extended past the June 30, 2015 cut-off date for expending these funds. Apparently there is a legislative effort to get these funds extended.
The Airport also has almost completed our design and permitting for the construction of a new road, fence and parking lot to serve the new school at the Airport location. Funding has been secured at almost a million dollars for this effort - a significant portion of which is to be reimbursed by the MassDOT Aeronautics Division - with the remainder being paid for by the Airport.
We ARE making a significant effort to bring in this school for Cape Cod. I would like to suggest that we put together a meeting of all the "Town" players and try to get Davenport Realty to help with this funding effort.
Cape Cod Today will continue to chronicle the efforts of both Barnstable and Cape Cod Community College to ensure that the new aviation maintenance program is housed at Barnstable Municipal Airport, along with all the business opportunities that it brings for local businesses.