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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced Friday that the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) will establish an Aviation Academy.

The new academy will be located at Silver Comet Field at the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport. Chattahoochee Technical College will oversee operations and build a new facility to house the Aviation Academy, where students will train in aviation mechanics and maintenance.

“Here in the No. 1 state for business five times over, we are strategically building upon the economic assets that set us apart from other states and investing in academic resources to produce a highly skilled workforce,” said Deal. “With an investment of approximately $35 million, Chattahoochee Tech’s Aviation Academy at Silver Comet Field is yet another example of a partnership between the state and local levels creating a resource that will benefit both the economy of the local community and that of our entire state.

“Aviation industry leaders including Delta Air Lines, Gulfstream and Pratt & Whitney call Georgia home or have had major operations in our state for decades, and air traffic in Georgia continues to rapidly increase thanks to the world’s most-utilized airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. To remain a suitable home for employers such as these and to connect Georgians with high-paying, quality jobs, we are investing in aviation mechanics and maintenance training through TCSG, which has a proven record of success in providing specialized training.”

With the new facility at the Paulding County Northwest Atlanta Airport, Chattahoochee Tech will offer FAA-certified programs to earn an Aviation Maintenance Technician – Airframe technical certificate of credit (TCC), which allows a student to become certified in all parts of an aircraft except the engine, and the Aviation Maintenance Technician – Power Plant TCC, which certifies a student in all aspects of the engine of an aircraft. Additionally, Chattahoochee Tech will offer diplomas and associate of applied science degrees in Aviation Maintenance, both of which include airframe and power plant training. The HOPE Career Grant funds tuition for eligible students studying aviation through TCSG.

Deal was joined by TCSG Commissioner Matt Arthur, Chattahoochee Technical College President Dr. Ron Newcomb, Paulding County Commission Chairman Dave Carmichael, Paulding County commissioners and members of the Paulding County legislative delegation at the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport for the announcement. Paulding County donated the land that will house the Aviation Academy.

“Technical jobs in the aviation industry require very specific training in unique facilities like the one we are at today,” said Arthur. “This Aviation Academy will be a tremendous asset to the industry because it will ensure a steady pipeline of skilled workers for years to come.”

Currently, there are seven FAA-certified aircraft maintenance training programs in Georgia, five of which are affiliated with TCSG institutions. Georgia ranks fourth in the nation for the number of individuals employed in the aviation field and job growth outlook for the industry exceeds national averages over the next 10 years.

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