Del Mar College Unveils Aviation Maintenance Training Hangar at Corpus Christi International Airport Today While CCIA Director Announces New Name for Facility2/28/13
The announcement came as a surprise to Del Mar College officials during today’s grand opening of its newest training facility for Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) students. Fred Segundo, director of the Corpus Christi International Airport (FlyCCIA), announced during his remarks that the old, unused hangar that had seen better days before renovations began would now have the name Del Mar College Hangar.
"We would not be here today if not for the Corpus Christi International Airport and their providing Del Mar College with this facility to expand our training opportunities to students," said College President Mark Escamilla, Ph.D. "This facility now has a new face and a second chance to impact students' preparation for careers in the general and commercial aviation industry."
After representatives remarked about how the College's program impacts South Texas' workforce needs, Escamilla and Laura Berry with Bay Ltd. "spun the propeller" of a T-34C Turbomentor to indicate the hangar was officially open as a training facility.
The Corpus Christi City Council seated in April 2011 approved Type A Board funds, or city sales taxes earmarked for job training and growth, for use toward the renovation. Originally allocated at a little over $910,000, the final funds dedicated to the project reached nearly $1.2 million. The College invested about $2 million for renovations with the city forgoing leasing fees for the space.
Renovations include 14,400 square feet of hangar space for aircraft storage and 2,440 feet of classroom and office space, which also includes a satellite office for the College’s Small Business Development Center to support economic and business development.
The hangar houses five aircraft but can accommodate up to 12. Last February, the U.S. Navy's Chief of Naval Air Training provided two of those aircraft, donating T-34C Turbomentors used for training with each worth $2.3 million. Berry donated the funds, equipment and manpower to move the trainers from the Naval base to the airport.
The expanded venue allows the Department of Technology Education to add more than 40 students to the AMT Program, which currently enrolls some 140-plus students at their West Campus facility. The Air Agency Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration allows for maximum student enrollment of 200 in the program with 100 students taking courses during the day or night.
The College began offering its first course, AERM 1350 Landing Gear, in the hangar on Feb. 13.
Program faculty noted that the airport facility adds a new dynamic to the equation as students interact with different airport staff as part of their training. Students taking AERM 1310 Ground Operations and AERM 1343 Instruments and Communication/Navigation will team up with CCIA Air Traffic Control Tower staff, or students will engage with the airport’s fire department if taking AERM 1310 Ground Operations to acquire more hands-on experiences related to course content.
Claudia Bisher, a May 2012 DMC graduate who now works as a Mechanic 1 for BAE Systems, Inc. at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, remarked about her enrolling in the Aviation Maintenance Technology Program after working in the industry beginning in 2006.
"I decided I needed to take it to the next level, and Del Mar provided that for me," she said to a crowd of about 80 people about her completing the College's program. "I learned a lot in the two years I was there that would have taken a long time to pick on in the field."
The College's AMT Program offers Certificates or Associate in Applied Science Degrees in Aviation Maintenance–Airframe Applied Technology and Aviation Maintenance–Power Plant Applied Technology. Students are encouraged to earn both Airframe and Power Plant Applied Technology ratings for maximum employment opportunities.
To learn more about the program, visit www.delmar.edu and click on "Degrees, Certificates & Courses."