Las Cruces Hosts Navy Flight Training Squadron

first_imgStudent aviators from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, returned to Las Cruces International Airport, N.M., last week for the 12th time since 2001 for two months of training flights.   Officials from Las Cruces are particularly excited this year after Navy officials last fall decided not to come to the city for winter training flights over concerns about fuel service operations at the airport. A fueling error had been blamed for the crash last year of an air ambulance, reported the Las Cruces Sun-News. The Navy typically brings student pilots to Las Cruces for training from January until March.“The Navy has an open invitation to come to Las Cruces for its training exercises, and we consider it a privilege to host them here,” said Mayor Ken Miyagishima.“It’s a huge opportunity to us to have the Navy back,” said Scott Andre, president of Francis Aviation, which plans to sell about 3,500 gallons of aviation fuel a day to the Navy during its stay.The Navy contingent includes 45 student aviators and 45 instructors and maintenance personnel, along with 16 T-6 “Texan II” aircraft. The money spent on lodging, meals and other expenses will provide a substantial boost to the Las Cruces economy, according to Gary Camarano, the city’s economic development coordinator.“It’s going to pump about $1 million into the local economy,” he said. “In addition to the economic benefit, the Navy’s presence at the airport speaks volumes of the environment for other aerospace activity in the region,” Camarano told the Sun-News. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more