Ivy Tech−Northeast dedicates $2.3 million Aviation Center at Smith Field

Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast dedicated its $2.3 million Aviation Center today at Smith Field Airport. The facility houses Ivy Tech’s existing Aviation Maintenance Technology program. The 21,000 square-foot facility will triple the previous classroom space and also provide additional hangar availability which will allow room for the full fleet of aircraft used in the program.

“The increased classroom and hangar space in the new Aviation Center allows us to educate and train more students and, therefore, increase the number of quality employees with degrees and industry certifications to support growing and dynamic aviation industry,” said Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier. “Aviation is a growing, and dynamic career choice for many individuals. The new Aviation Center and the programs and courses offered will help develop a stronger connection to the real-world aviation workforce.”Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast dedicated its $2.3 million Aviation Center today at Smith Field Airport. The facility houses Ivy Tech’s existing Aviation Maintenance Technology program. The 21,000 square-foot facility will triple the previous classroom space and also provide additional hangar availability which will allow room for the full fleet of aircraft used in the program.

The Aviation Maintenance Technology program in Fort Wayne is unique to the statewide Ivy Tech Community College system, and it provides an opportunity for students to receive a hands-on, educational experience in this specific field of study. The new facility and A & P Certification program will contribute to the economic success of the area by providing preparation and on-the-job training for the community’s aircraft maintenance workforce. This education will support aviation industries, Pinnacle Airlines in particular, which has a maintenance hangar at Fort Wayne International Airport. In the past, Pinnacle has hired graduates of the A & P program and works with Ivy Tech’s aviation interns throughout the year.

The average wage of an aircraft mechanic in 2010 was $53,280. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that job prospects are best for applicants with experience and an A&P certification, both of which are offered by Ivy Tech’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program. According to BLS, job opportunities with the airlines today are expected to be better than they have been in the past.

“We at the Airport Authority are very proud of Smith Field’s ability to positively contribute to the area’s aviation workforce,” said Executive Director of Airports Scott Hinderman. “This new facility will provide all the tools needed to successfully train aircraft mechanics and ultimately strengthen the region’s aviation community.”

This effort has been made possible with the support of numerous area partners, including the City of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne/Allen County Airport Authority, Smith Field Airport, The Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The $2.3 million building is located off Cook Road. For more information on the new facility or the Aviation Maintenance Technology program, visit www.ivytech.edu/aviation-technology.

About Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) was created in 1985 and is responsible for managing the Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field. In the last few years, FWACAA has undertaken an aggressive improvement plan at SMD which included the construction of an aircraft maintenance training facility in partnership with Ivy Tech, the installation of an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) in partnership with Parkview Hospital, the installation of a self-serve aviation fuel system, and various facility, electrical, storm water, and pavement improvements. The Authority is governed by a six–member board appointed by both the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Commissioners. For more information about the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, visit www.FWAirport.com.

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