McKinney ISD and American Airlines partnered Sept. 6 for the district’s student aviation program.
The partnership allows American Airlines representatives to work with students at the campus level, host field trips to the airline’s facility, serve on MISD’s Career and Technical Education Aviation Advisory Council and participate in MISD aviation days at the McKinney National Airport, according to a press release.
“We want [students]to be we educated about the profession,” David Tatum, director of pilot recruiting and development for American Airlines said in the release. “There are a lot of opportunities. … We need a lot of great people, and so we know that starts at the high school level.”
The next five years will present many opportunities for aspiring pilots as a large number of veteran pilots approach retirement age, Tatum said. Becoming a pilot requires hard work but the path is there, he said.
The aviation program at MISD launched in 2011 with about 40 students. In 2013, the program had grown to about 200 students, according to the release. The program has a Federal Aviation Administration-approved flight simulator and partnerships with Southwest Airlines, the city of McKinney, LeTourneau University and Monarch Air.