Jardee to Play Role in U.S. Aviation Education Changes
May, Bill, THE JOURNAL RECORD
It's not often that a person from Oklahoma City is in a positio to take actions which will affect an entire industry.
But Bob Jardee, director of Metro Tech's Aviation Career Center at Will Rogers World Airport, is in just such a position.
Jardee is one of four educators named to the Aviation Maintenance Working Committee of the National Council on Vocational Education, a presidential advisory panel.
The 35-member committee will study the current state of education for an aviation maintenance technician and make recommendations on improvements and changes needed to meet technological advancements.
Some of these recommendations are expected to result in changes in types of certificates awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration and rules and regulations affecting airplane repair.
"We are fortunate, as a school, to be included," Jardee said. "We were invited because we have been aggressive in our attempts to raise the quality standards in aviation maintenance technology training. That's a hot issue right now."
Aggressive is an understatement of the role the school's faculty and staff play in training technicians to service and repair airplanes of types and sizes. Since the school started its first class in September 1988, the curriculum has been updated and new programs have been instituted. The school has expanded twice.
Not only does the school offer traditional training for students seeking FAA licensing as airframe and powerplant technicians, it also offers industry specific training for any aviation company which needs it. Last month, the school began preparations for a two-year program teaching avionics (aviation electronics) repair, installation, inspection and calibration, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.
Other new programs include composite material repair and non-destructive testing.
Other programs are on the drawing boards, but Jardee will not discuss them publicly for they have not been approved.
This aggressive stance on the need for a changing curriculum to keep pace with technological advances fits in with Jardee's appointment, he said.
"A qualified technical work force responsible for the airworthiness of transport and air carrier aircraft is becoming a global issue," Jardee said. "The FAA is begining to recognize this.
"The FAA is considering change which seriously affect ratings (of maintenance technicians) in that special ratings could be added to the current A&P (airframe and powerplant) license.
"Examples of these are avionics or helicopter maintenance technicians.
"As things stand now, once a person receives that A&P license, he or she is rated to start working on general aviation (anything except air carrier transport or military) airplanes of all types as an apprentice.
"There needs to be some changes within the rating structure to reflect new technological advances."
Four things are causing the repair questions to become a global issue, Jardee said. These are:
- The worldwide aging airfleet which will continue to escalate.
"The number of airplanes (in use) which are 20 to 25 years old will continue to escalate," he said. "Everyone has heard about the aging fleet of commercial air carriers, but its going beyond that now. …