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UNT, Tarrant County College camp helps high schoolers’ aviation career plans take flight

Two high schoolers fly a flight simulator during the 2015 UNT-TCC Aviation Career Education Academy, a five-day camp created to get students interested in aviation and aerospace careers. Photo credit: Tarrant County College.High schoolers got a jumpstart on aerospace careers this summer thanks to the Aviation Career Academy Camp, hosted by UNT’s aviation logistics program and Tarrant County College’s aviation program. The two universities team up at Alliance Airport and TCC’s aviation education site each June to give students a unique introduction to the high-demand industry.

Students flew drones and flight simulators, visited an air traffic control center, learned the physics of flight, enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at degree options -- like UNT’s aviation logistics program -- and even co-piloted small Cessna 172s. Hosted by UNT’s Center for Logistics Education and Research and TCC’s Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation and Logistics, the camp is designed to propel students toward aviation and aerospace careers.

“The shortage of aviation professionals is becoming serious,” says Steve Joiner, director of UNT’s aviation logistics program and co-organizer of the camp. “The problem is that many students don’t even know all of the options for aerospace careers. We’re here to give students a feel for the industry in hopes that some of them will choose a career in this industry.”

To keep up with demand, the aviation industry will need more than 2 million new professionals through 2035 -- including 617,000 commercial airline pilots, 679,000 maintenance technicians and 814,000 cabin crew members, according to the 2016 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook, an industry forecast.