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A total of 19 PCC Aviation Technology Program students will mark completion of their certificate and degree training in a ceremony Friday, March 7.  Additionally, 12 continuing Avionics and Structural Repair students will receive certificates for their interim accomplishments in the program.

At Friday’s completion ceremony, George Bean, a retired Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Safety Inspector, will be the keynote speaker.

“George thinks outside of the box. He helped us craft an A&P program using large commercial transport aircraft,” said Aviation Technology Program Department Chair Pete Stogsdill.

Friday’s ceremony will be held in the 10,700-square-foot Aviation Technology Center hangar, adjacent to one of the program’s Boeing 727s. The state-of-the-art ATC opened on the west side of Tucson International Airport in August 2001.

What: Aviation Technology Program Completion Ceremony

When: 7 p.m., March 7, 2014

Where: PCC Aviation Technology Center, 7211 S. Park Ave.

Info: 206-5910; for ceremony details, see the attached program.

“Mr. Bean is one of the most impactful and recognized aviation authorities in the Southwest,” said Aviation Program Manager Tom Hinman. “It is a real treat to have him with us.”

Chancellor Lee Lambert touted the program during testimony Feb. 19 before the Arizona House of Representatives Education and Workforce Development Committee. Steve Pagnucco of Universal Avionics also testified for PCC.

The College offers certificate and degree opportunities in Airframe and Powerplant, Avionics, and Structural Repair concentrations. Most Aviation Technology Program students combine at least two concentrations. Upon completing their training, students are eligible to take either FAA certification exams (Airframe and Powerplant and Structural Repair) or National Center for Aerospace Transportation Technologies (NCATT) certification exams (Avionics). Certification is required to work in the industry.

Students develop their skills on a variety of aircraft models, from single-engine Piper and Cessna airplanes to Boeing 727s jets, including a 727-200F donated in 2013 by FedEx Express.

The program includes a unique Structural Repair concentration that includes training in the state-of-the-art composites fabrication and repair, the industry’s latest manufacturing technique, which The New York Times notes has a high-demand for trained craftsmen in the manufacture and repair of such jet as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350.

PCC has a transfer partnerships with Eastern New Mexico University (Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Arts & Sciences, Aviation Studies), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (various degrees at many of its campuses, including the one in Tucson), as well as with Arizona State University for a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aviation Management Technology.

Most PCC Aviation Technology Program students have jobs by the time they graduate. The Aviation Technology Program runs classes year-round, with students completing in March and August each year

Of the program's current students, 10 percent are U.S. military veterans. The Arizona Daily Star recently had a story about veterans in the program. In addition, a recent story in Inside Tucson Business called the program “one of the best kept secrets among many in the Tucson region

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