NetJets has donated seven Cessna Skyhawk 172 training aircraft to Ohio State University (OSU) in a reaffirmation of the long-standing relationship between the two entities.

The new aircraft will enable OSU to meet the demands of an increasing number of students interested in flying careers. Since 2013, the number of students enrolled in aviation majors at the University has increased from under 100 to 260, with nearly half of them focusing on achieving a professional pilot certification. The aircraft will also be used to further aviation research.

NetJets’ Executive Vice President of Operations, Alan Bobo, declared, “At NetJets, safety is our highest priority, and that means investing in the training of the next generation of pilots. We have an unyielding commitment to ensuring the safety of our skies, and giving students the opportunity to fly state-of-the-art aircraft is one of many ways we are fulfilling that commitment.”

In 2008, the company donated four Cessna training aircraft to OSU which are still in use.

“It is not hyperbole to say that but for NetJets, Ohio State aviation and flight education might not be here today,” said the OSU’s College of Engineering Dean, David B. Williams. “This partnership is a model for us. We both want to develop the nation’s best aviation education program that will continue to supply NetJets the pilots it needs to continue its growth.”

The partnership between NetJets and OSU began in In 2011, when NetJets donated $2 million to establish Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies. In 2015, the company donated an additional $1 million to fund faculty leadership positions, NextGen aviation research initiatives and internship opportunities.

NetJets and OSU are also collaborating on Next Generation Air Transportation System research and implementation in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen program. By integrating data analytics with aviation operations, OSU and NetJets create novel solutions to further enhance aviation safety, accessibility and sustainability.