Select Page

The past year has seen Eastern Kentucky University’s nationally unique Aviation Program, aided by 2 + 2 partnerships, spread its wings to encompass regional airports located near community and technical colleges in Hazard, Middlesboro, Ashland and Owensboro.

Now its reputation has reached China.

In late 2013, a delegation from the Harbin University of Science and Technology (HUST) in China traveled to Richmond to visit the EKU College of Business and Technology. The trip reciprocated a visit the previous year by Dr. Robert Rogow, then dean of the College; Dr. Chang-Yang Lin, professor of computer technology; and Ralph Gibbs, director of aviation, to establish strategic EKU partnerships in China.

While in Kentucky, the Chinese delegation was given a tour of the state capitol and met with EKU leaders concerning enhancing the EKU-HUST partnership. As a final request, the delegation requested personalized EKU Aviation shirts with the wings of gold and airport logos. The University recently received a photo of the delegation members wearing the shirts.

“Our guests arrived as visiting dignitaries from China and left as honorary ‘1,000-hour power’ Kentucky Colonels,” Gibbs said.

EKU offers the nation’s only FAA-approved “1,000-hour power” 2 + 2 degree pathway to aviation careers. In 2013, the FAA granted special authority for EKU aviation-professional flight graduates to take the Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) check ride at 1,000 hours, instead of waiting for the previous 1,500 hours. More recently, the FAA added the University’s aviation-aerospace technology degree to its list of approved “1,000-hour power” degrees.

For more information about the program, visit