Premier FBO Services & Facilities

March 5, 2013

Despite California’s double-digit unemployment rate, career opportunities for students at Van Nuys Airport’s Aircraft Mechanic School are flying high. Enrolled at the only airframe and power plant mechanics training program of its kind in California, graduates who pass the required FAA certification exam are virtually guaranteed jobs, school officials say.

The Aircraft Mechanic School is probably the best-kept secret at Van Nuys Airport,” said Curt Castagna, president of the Van Nuys Airport Association (VNAA), a non-profit tenant organization that recently established a student
scholarship program. “The school provides hands-on training to prepare men and women for high-skilled, high-paying jobs working for major and regional airlines, corporate flight departments, and aerospace products and parts manufacturing companies, among other aviation facilities.”

Founded in 1973 and operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District’s North Valley Occupational Center, the Aircraft Mechanic School is ranked among the top in the country and one of the only programs of its kind open to high school students. Offering a combination of classroom lecture in 45 individual subject areas and shop-oriented projects, its facilities include a high-bay hangar in which students work on actual propeller aircraft, jets and helicopters.

Approximately 150-200 students are enrolled each year in the two-year program, which is free to high school students.