The Purdue Research Foundation has announced a new partnership with what President Dan Hasler calls a "game changer in the aviation industry." The agreement with Italy-based Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM involves support for a sales, maintenance and training center in West Lafayette. Hasler says the collaboration is another step in helping build tomorrow’s aviation work force, a sector with a high need for talent.
He tells Inside INdiana Business TECNAM is looking for engineers, pilots, mechanics and even people to ferry planes to new customers throughout the U.S. "It turns out, what they’re looking for is resident here in West Lafayette and at Purdue University." Hasler says there are so many ways TECNAM and other companies in the aviation industry can work with Purdue, Purdue Aviation LLC and the Research Park to improve and staff the industry. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has named the district a Indiana Certified Technology Park.
The center will be located in the recently-designated, 980-acre Purdue Research Park Aerospace District, which covers the area in and around the Purdue University Airport. In November, Rolls-Royce announced it would be the first partner to locate to the district. The company says it employs some 600 Purdue graduates. The 55,000 square-foot Rolls-Royce facility is set to open this fall.
TECNAM has been around since 1948 and its original models were under the Partenavia name. The current company, Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM, was established in the mid-1980s. It has three production facilities in Italy.
TECNAM Chief Executive Officer Paolo Pascale says "Purdue has a rich history in aviation and strong capabilities in aeronautics, engineering, flight training and technology. Coupled with exceptional airport facilities, Purdue is a great place for us to supply and service the U.S. market. We are impressed with Purdue’s aerospace district and the future possibilities in research, development and manufacturing."
Purdue says the agreement includes a TECNAM fleet-focused sales center and involves flight school integration, flight training and maintenance services.
PRF President Dan Hasler tells Inside INdiana Business the needs of the company and the offerings at the university match well.