FRANCONIA — Ground broke Tuesday on a new training and operations center at the Franconia Airport that will serve the nonprofit Franconia Soaring Foundation Inc. (FSF), which carries a mission to promote non-motorized glider flight operations and training and to preserve the airport for future generations. In 2022, the foundation was awarded a $350,000 Northern Border Regional Commission Catalyst Grant toward the total project that is just north of $1 million. By May 2024, the first phase of the multi-functional training and operations center — several times larger than the existing half-century-old building being torn down — is expected to be ready for occupancy. A critical project component is a deeper partnership with local schools for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming. The new center, which will allow space for flight operations briefings and debriefings, will encourage career development opportunities in aviation-related fields and offer an education and training resource for regional STEM programs.
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