Chairman of the Delta State Commercial Aviation Program Works to Make It One of the Best in the Nation

Courtesy of Delta State University

Joe Saia

Joe Saia, a professional pilot for Delta Air Lines, is also the interim chairman of the Commercial Aviation Program at Delta State University. This is a role he finds exciting, and he has been gratified to serve his alma mater, helping lead a $9 million campaign to support the infrastructure of the university’s first-class commercial aviation program.

Because of aggressive recruiting, Delta State University’s flight program has had more than 275 students consider attending the program in the last year. With the support of DSU’s administration, the program was able to secure $3.1 million of the $9 million campaign to purchase five additional training aircraft along with a modern flight simulator that will help prepare graduates for careers as professional pilots. The aircraft chosen to train future pilots at DSU is the Cirrus TRAC 20. This Technically Advanced Aircraft will bring the latest and greatest technology to the program. Additionally, DSU’s aviation program will acquire a state-of-the-art jet flight simulator. This simulator will aid students in their knowledge base of aerodynamics at 39,000 feet and at speeds of over 500 MPH, something all professional pilots must have in their skill sets.

This is just the beginning of building Delta State’s flight program to make it a jewel not only in the Mississippi Delta, but in the region and nation. Moreover, the improvements being made to DSU’s Commercial Aviation program go far beyond garnering funding. The faculty and staff have proven a real commitment and passion for the program to see it reach its best potential!