Texas Southern University is expanding its aviation program with plans to open a two-acre training facility at Ellington Airport.

On Wednesday, Houston officials approved the agreement between Houston Airports and Texas Southern for the creation of the Aviation Education Facility at Ellington Airport. 

The agreement will span for five years and Houston Airport Systems will invest up to $5 million under a separate contract to develop the facility.

According to officials, the facility will include: a 22,000 square foot hangar, 20,000 square feet of aircraft apron, 7,200 square feet of office and training/classroom space, 12,000 gallon above-ground aviation fuel tank, and vehicle parking. 

“The city of Houston is proud of its partnership with Texas Southern University, and we are excited to witness the aviation students’ education and careers take flight. The air transportation industry in Houston and across the United States is growing and provides career opportunities for those with the skills needed to succeed,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.  “Earlier this year, the city provided $1 million in seed money to create a transformational health center at TSU. This project also will transform lives and help students prepare for the future.”

Texas Southern University is one of nine HBCU aviation programs in the country, and more than 500 aviation and aerospace-related companies operate in Houston.

The university’s Director’s of Aviation, Dr. Terence Fontaine expressed his gratitude and excitement for the new aviation training facility.

“The Aviation Science Management program at Texas Southern University is thankful for this investment the City of Houston and Houston Airports are making in our students and in the future of aviation” said Executive Director of Aviation Dr. Terance Fontaine. “Likewise, we appreciate the unwavering support our program has received from President Lesia Crumpton-Young, Regent James Benham and the entire Board of Regents to get us to this point. We are honored to be the first tenants in this new lease space. This opportunity provides an enhanced environment for student learning opportunities as we work to address our nation’s critical aviation needs. Furthermore, it provides space for our fleet of eight aircraft to be housed inside and protected from weather conditions, thus allowing us to preserve them for extended use.”

According to Chron, Texas Southern’s Aviation Science Management program currently has 103 students under three concentrations, including aviation management, professional piloting, and maritime transportation or drones.

The Aviation Education Facility at Ellington is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2024.