Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport

Apus Air

Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport is getting a new flight school that trains pilots for Chinese airlines.

Apus Air announced this week that it is constructing a flight training center at the airport. The project will create 35 jobs.

CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation Madison Silvert says the regional airport is a perfect fit for the company’s needs. 

 “They were looking for an airport that had the right balance of runway links and amenities and low traffic so they could provide a confident environment for new trainees,” says Silvert.

The California-based company is making an investment $1.65 million in the new facility.

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The Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport has received a one-million dollar grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. Airport director Bob Whitmer says they’ve actually spent the money already to expand the airport’s terminal, but will use the grant to repay a loan from the Kentucky Finance Cabinet. 

Whitmer says the million-dollar grant is unusual for smaller airports, but Owensboro-Daviess County earned the money by reaching the 10-thousand mark in "implanements" paid boardings.

“On our Allegiant Airlines and Cape Air Airlines flights, we were well-above 10,000, so we got awarded a million dollars, whereas most airports that are below 10,000 'implanements' only get $150,000.”

The grant will cover 90 percent of the terminal improvements. Whitmer says the airport is also relocating a beacon to improve visibility for income aircraft.

Work on a nearly $3 million terminal expansion and renovation at Owensboro's airport is almost complete. Airport Manager Bob Whitmer tells The Messenger-Inquirer the project will resolve overcrowding and give the terminal a modern look.