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PCC’s Aviation Technology Graduates in Aug. 9 Completion Ceremony

August 8, 2013

Tucson, AZ – Nearly three dozen highly trained aviation technologists mark their transition into the aviation industry Friday evening, Aug. 9, as part of PCC’s Aviation Technology Program completion ceremony.

Tim McGuire, General Manager of Bombardier Aerospace’s Tucson Business Aircraft Service Center, will be the keynote speaker at Friday’s completion ceremony, which will honor 34 certificate completers.

“It is truly an honor to be speaking at Pima Community College’s completion ceremony,” McGuire said. “As an FAA AMT Diamond Award of Excellence winner, we value the importance of quality training to develop our technicians. Like Bombardier, Pima Community College offers high-quality education to transform the students into future professionals.”

Bombardier’s Tucson Aircraft Service Center is the largest of eight Bombardier Service Centers located in the United States and employs close to 900 skilled aerospace professionals. Since it opened in 1976, the center has included completion work and has evolved into a center of excellence for aircraft maintenance services, modifications, inspections, refurbishment, fly-in repairs and aircraft-on-ground service for both business and commercial aircraft. This year, the Tucson center was awarded the 2012 FAA AMT Diamond Award Certificate of Excellence, which recognizes Bombardier’s commitment to offering customers access to the most highly skilled workforce.

Bombardier is one of several aviation companies in the region that employ PCC Aviation Technology Program graduates. In fact, most program graduates get jobs in Tucson.

Concluding Friday’s ceremony, graduates will recite the Technician’s Creed, which reads in part, “I realize the grave responsibility which is mine as a certified airman, to exercise my judgment on the airworthiness of aircraft and equipment.”

  • What: Aviation Technology Program Completion Ceremony
  • When: 7 p.m., Aug. 9, 2013
  • Where: PCC Aviation Technology Center, 7211 S. Park Ave.
  • Info: 206-5910

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

The College offers certificate and degree opportunities in Airframe and Powerplant, Avionics, and Structural Repair concentrations. Most students combine at least two concentrations, developing their skills on a variety of aircraft models, from single-engine Piper and Cessna airplanes to Boeing 727 jets, including a 727-200F donated by FedEx Express in 2012. Cohort classes run year-round, with students completing in March and August each year.

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. Nine of the students being honored Friday already have been certified, while at least six more are in the process of completing the certification exams.

Most PCC Aviation Technology Program students have jobs by the time they graduate. The program has trained veterans enrolled under the GI bill, as well as students referred by Pima County One-Stop and high school students enrolled through the Joint Education Technology District.

PCC has a transfer partnership with Eastern New Mexico University to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Arts & Sciences, Aviation Studies.

PCC’s Aviation Technology Program is highly regarded in the aerospace industry. Inside Tucson Business called the program “one of the best kept secrets among many in the Tucson region.”

C.J. Karamargin
Vice Chancellor for Public Information and Federal Government Relations
(520) 206-4850

 Aviation Technology Program Timeline and Fact Sheet

As of Aug. 9, 2013



  • Aviation Technology Program, covering general mechanics and some airframe and powerplant, is one of original programs of Pima College (later Pima Community College)
  • Initially classes held at a Tucson International Airport (TIA) hangar north of the current Aviation Technology Center; then near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base


  • The Aviation Technology Program returns to TIA, near the Executive Terminal; approximately 8,500 square feet used for two classrooms and a hangar


  • The Aviation Technology Program moves to 1668 S. Research Loop, near the current University of Arizona Science and Technology Park
  • Structural Repair concentration becomes part of the Aviation Technology Program, in response to local aviation industry demand


  • Voters approve a $35 million bond package for PCC, including about $4 million for the Aviation Technology Program


  • Pima College works with Bombardier to develop an Aircraft Interior Installer Program
  • More than 300 students transit the program prior to its ending in 2001.


  • Ground is broken on the Aviation Technology Center, 7211 S. Park Ave., at TIA, off of Old Nogales Highway; includes approximately 10,700-square-foot hangar

August 2001

  • Classes get underway at the just-completed ATC

October 2003

  • ATC dedicated
  • FedEx donates retired Boeing 727-116F to ATC

2003 and 2004

  • Another Boeing 727-100 series jet and other retired aircraft are donated by various entities, including Bombardier Aerospace. Bombardier donates a De Havilland Canada DHC-8-200 Dash 8, complete except for the instrument panel.


  • Full Federal Aviation Administration-certified airframe and powerplant concentration, including FAA Federal Aviation Regulations Part 147 (FAA FAR Part 147) credentialing, added to Aviation Technology Program


  • Avionics Technician concentration established with federal Title V funding; adds approximately 3,000 square feet to the southwest side of ATC


  • PCC offers general mechanics classes through the Joint Technology Education District, comprised of various Pima County school districts, allowing high school students to earn college credit


  • In competition with 100 entities, PCC procures the donation of a retiring Boeing 727-227F aircraft from FedEx Express. It is one of only two institutions to secure a second aircraft from the famous shipping company.

Overall ATC enrollment:

  • 2012-13: 146
  • 2011-12: 131
  • 2010-2011: 127
  • 2009-2010: 97
  • 2008-09: 89

2012-13 enrollments by concentration(s)

  • Airframe and Powerplant: 54
  • Avionics/Airframe Powerplant: 38
  • Structural Repair/Airframe/Powerplant: 32
  • JTED: 22 (general mechanics classes)


U.S. military veterans enrollment by concentration

  • Airframe and Powerplant: 2
  • Structural Repair/Airframe: 2