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UND EYES TAIWAN TRAINING CENTER
UND is interested in teaming with China Airlines of Taiwan to develop a Pacific Aerospace Training Center in Taiwan, according to court documents filed in a legal dispute over commissions for recruiting Taiwanese airline students at UND.
Aspenpacific Corp. of El Paso, Texas, is seeking about $200,000 from the UND Aerospace Foundation for what it claims to be its share of commissions for recruiting students for UND from China Airlines of Taipei.
The foundation filed a request in Grand Forks County District Court Thursday, opposing a motion filed by Aspenpacific for a settlement order. UND claims the foundation's principal officers haven't agreed to terms worked out by attorneys.
Rex Hammarback, vice president of the UND Aerospace Foundation, on Friday confirmed the existence of the plan for a training center in Taiwan," during the mid to late `90s."
In district court filings, Douglas Christensen, a Grand Forks attorney representing the UND Aerospace Foundation, said Aspenpacific had been asked to waive its rights to commissions related to "the proposed Pacific Aerospace Training Facility."
Hammarback said in response to inquiries that details need to be worked out with China Airlines Ltd. of Taipei and with the government of Taiwan, and the extent of UND's role in the projects still need to be worked out.
"It's still moving ahead," Hammarback said. He and John Odegard, dean of the Center for Aerospace Sciences and president of the foundation, have made trips to Taiwan to discuss the project.
They've also secured options from Piper Aircraft Co. of Vero Park, Fla. for as many as $250 planes to support UND aerospace operations. And a share of those planes were considered for the Pacific venture, Hammarback said.
Piper Aircraft, however is behind on deliveries for the UND fleet now after laying off 1,000 workers this year and scaling down production because of financial problems.
The non-profit UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF) has been working at least two years on Taiwan training plans. More than 100 students from Taiwan currently are training in UND's airline crew oriented Spectrum program.
Similar training could be provided in the Pacific Rim, with services to countries other than Taiwan, Hammarback said.
State District Joel Medd of Grand Forks has scheduled an Oct.8 hearing on Aspenpacific's lawsuit against UNDAF field last February.
Aspenpacific has asked the court to order a compromise settlement requiring UNDAF to pay $199,800 for its role in recruiting three classes of China Airlines students for the university since March 1988, and to allow commissions for future UND recruits from the Taiwan airline.
Hammarback said a revised settlement agreement would be proposed to Aspenpacific and the court before the October's hearing.
Grand Forks Herald, September 22, 1990