David Adkins Published

FAA Certifies New Aviation Technician School In Wayne County

A plane comes in for a landing, flying low over a corn field.

Thirty students are preparing for a new aviation maintenance technician (AMT) program through Mountwest Community and Technical College and Marshall University in the Fall 2022 semester.

The program has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and is now the first AMT school for the region and the 189th in the country. The school will be located at the Huntington Tri-State Airport.

Students enroll into the program through Mountwest and are counted as transient students with Marshall University.

“Mountwest could deliver the associate degree; in the state of West Virginia there are limitations on what a four year school can do in terms of a two year degree,” program director James Smith said.

Upon graduation from the 18-month program, students will receive an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree under the names of both institutions.

Students who complete the program will also be eligible to take FAA Airframe and Powerplant certification exams.

Applications for the program opened in May, but the program was unable to process them until now.

“They’ve just been kind of in limbo until we could get the FAA to give us that final approval,” Smith said. “With the final approval, we were able to flip that switch and work on the formal processing of their applications.”

According to Smith, a quarter of the students who come out of aviation programs go to work in industries such as oil and gas, maritime, or automotive.

“The skills we teach in this program have direct impacts on other manufacturing and trade skills industries,” Smith said. “It’s not aviation centric specifically.”

Applicants on the waiting list will be considered for an additional 30 students for the Spring 2022 semester.