The partnership between Yavapai College and Guidance Aviation has been a boon to the local economy. Their Professional Helicopter Training Program has resulted in over $1.2 million worth of fuel purchased in the past year, increasing fuel revenues to the City of Prescott and Love Field operator, Legend Aviation. “With over 100 flight training students and their families drawn to the region by the program, you begin to see the positive impact this program has made on the local economy,” says Guidance spokesman, Guy Roginson.
According to Roginson, the Yavapai College Professional Helicopter Pilot Program was established in spring of 2010 and is generating nearly $9 million in revenues annually, making it the highest revenue generating degree program at the college.
In addition, Guidance now employs more than 50 professionals, dozens of whom are Yavapai College and Embry-Riddle University graduates, resulting in an established career pathway between local educational institutions and local employers.
William Cheek & Associations, an aviation consultancy authored the 2006 Prescott Airport Economic Impact Study. The report confirmed the significance of the economic influence of the Yavapai College Professional Helicopter Pilot Program. “When taking the direct and indirect expenses of the helicopter program (into account), we estimate the total economic impact of Yavapai College– Guidance Aviation helicopter program on the wider community to be $15.2 million,” states Cheek.
“Guidance Aviation is a remarkable success story,” adds Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall. “They’re a small business start-up that has steadily grown into one of the area’s top employers. The City acknowledges the tremendous contributions their partnership with Yavapai College has made to the community in terms of economic benefit and educational opportunity.”