Glendale Municipal Airport will soon be the site of a new aviation technology school. Western Maricopa Educational Center recently received approval from the Glendale City Council to build the 41,000-square-foot aviation technology school on 6.4 acres near the Glendale Airport. Construction has already begun on the facility, which will require about 50 employees and is projected to be ready Fall 2011.
Western Maricopa Educational Center, serving more than 25,000 students, will utilize the new facility for aviation maintenance training. The program will teach students to service and repair aircraft including engines and avionics systems in preparation for FAA’s Aviation Maintenance Technician certification.
The program consists of four courses and classes meet four and a half hours a day, Monday through Friday. In order to meet the FAA-required 1,944 hours of instruction, the students will also attend classes 62 days over two summers. Completion of the curriculum qualifies students who are at least 18 years old to take the Aviation Maintenance Technician certification exam. By the end of the program, students will have the skills necessary to repair and maintain aircraft including electrical systems, turbine and reciprocating engines, aircraft finishes, sheet metal, welding, landing gear, hydraulics, and propellers.
Within the aviation industry, including airlines and aircraft manufacturers, there is a need for more than 300 new aviation maintenance personnel each year. Students who complete the coursework and pass the exam will be qualified for any number of these positions within the industry that often pay up to $21 per hour. With in Glendale, opportunities exist with Southwest Airlines or any of several companies at the Glendale Municipal Airport.
The educational center is anticipated to enroll 150 students per academic year in their aviation maintenance program. The initial focus for the center is to train young people, but plans include training for adults in the future. The program is designed to provide the young students with technical skills required to successfully compete for well-paying jobs in the aviation industry.