Ivy Tech Spreads Its Wings as Aviation School Expands

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

June 28, 2011 Updated Jun 28, 2011 at 5:30 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - An aviation-training program at Smith Field airport is ready to expand.

A new aviation maintenance technology facility is in the works.

The program hasn't been around long, but it's really taking off.

Airplane mechanics are in high demand, and now a school where you can learn how to be one, is getting bigger and better.

Groundbreaking happened Tuesday at Smith Field, future site of a $2.3 million aviation technology school building.

The new facility will more than triple the classroom space at the school, and officials with Ivy Tech-Northeast say it could more than double enrollment.

The current enrollment is 90 students, which could jump to close to 200 once the new building is in place.

It’s good news for the small airport, and the mayor maintains, for the local economy.

"It's an additional asset to the City of Fort Wayne, not only as a facility to enhance Smith Field, but the educational opportunities and ultimately the employment opportunities," says Democrat Mayor Tom Henry.

Precision Aviation has people doing maintenance work on planes here in Fort Wayne.

Chamber of Commerce President Mike Landram says that non-stop service to Memphis and Minneapolis is an outgrowth of that airplane repair business.

There's really no other airplane mechanic school in Indiana like the one in Fort Wayne.

Officials hope the city can carve out a niche and new jobs because of this school.

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