OHIO STATE FLIGHT EDUCATION: COVID-19 UPDATE
The Ohio State University Airport (KOSU) and Center for Aviation Studies suspended flight training activity to comply with the State of Ohio’s Stay at Home Order, effective March 23, 2020. On April 27, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohio's plan to responsibly restart Ohio's economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Airport and flight education leaders have carefully evaluated the state’s guidelines and have developed plans and procedures to resume in-person flight training operations while prioritizing the safety of students and staff. Given these safety protocols and the fact that students must complete in-person flight education activities to be certified, university leadership approved these plans through Ohio State’s post-pandemic operations task force process. Therefore, the airport’s flight education program has been granted an exemption to resume while other university operations remain closed. Only flight and simulator lessons will be conducted in person at the airport. Ground instruction will be conducted via Zoom.
TIMELINE FOR OPERATIONS
Beginning May 8, 2020, prioritized students nearing completion of degree or certificate may resume in-person flight training. These students will be communicated with individually regarding logistics.
Beginning May 18, 2020, the remainder of flight education students—including any new students enrolled this summer—may resume or begin flight training.
New procedures at The Ohio State University Airport Flight Education Center will be sent to students and staff. They include but are not limited to:
- Students and staff must self-assess their personal health each day. Symptoms of COVID-19 are listed on the Wexner Medical Center coronavirus website; the daily health check process is posted on the Office of Human Resources website.
- Access to the Flight Education Center will be limited. Students will be allowed access only to pick up aircraft keys, which will be disinfected after each use. Students will wait in their cars in the parking lot until their aircraft is ready.
- No congregation of any kind will be permitted on airport property.
- Enhanced aircraft cleaning procedures will be implemented, both pre- and post-flight.
- Students and instructors must use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment while at the airport and while engaged in flight training.
- All students and instructors are required to wear masks while in the building and while in the cockpit.
- Social distancing guidelines (i.e., at least 6 feet of separation) are required in all Airport buildings.
The initial scope of this COVID-19 operational policy is limited to the flight students and flight crewmembers (pilots/instructors), including pilots holding management positions, employed by The Ohio State University to operate aircraft owned or managed by the university in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations, Parts 61, 91 and 141. Also within scope are all students enrolled in Ohio State’s Part 141 pilot program regardless of flight status while at KOSU.
Flight training operations may shut down at any given time due to new information, Ohio State guidance or governmental restrictions.