A group of government, education and aviation leaders are studying the possibility of offering aeronautics-related classes at two southern Idaho colleges.

Members of the College of Southern Idaho-Idaho State University Task Force for Aerospace Science Education hope to create a local niche in the burgeoning industry while opportunities still exist.Jerome County Commissioner Judy Felton, task force spokeswoman, said 52,000 pilots, 50,000 mechanics and 100,000 flight attendants will be hired nationwide in the next decade.

Task force Chairman John Hilzman, a member of the Twin Falls airport board, said the majority of professional pilots entered the industry after World War II and the Korean War, which means most soon will be reaching retirement age.