SUU Aviation Aims to Change FAA Maintenance Curriculum

Southern Utah University is working to help the FAA update its required curriculum for aviation maintenance. Southern Utah University

The Southern Utah University’s Aviation department is spearheading an effort to update the aviation maintenance curriculum the FAA requires all U.S. training providers to use. The Cedar City-based University claims the curriculum has not been adequately updated in more than 56 years. According to SUU, “aviation students are not prepared for real world jobs because they have been learning [from an] outdated curriculum that hasn’t been relevant in years.” Schools are required to follow the outdated curriculum without changes and the lack of relevant training has put the onus of training on employers.

“Outdated training mandates are more than an impediment; they hinder the aviation maintenance industry’s economic growth,” said the executive director of the Legislative Committee for the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), Crystal Maguire.

Rather than waiting for the FAA to make the necessary updates to the curriculum, SUU is taking matters into its own hands. The school’s director of maintenance, Jared Britt, who is also the chairman of ATEC, is exploring the possibility of an exception from the curriculum mandate to use its own, updated curriculum.

“There is a need, and we have the ability to meet that need in a way no one else ever has,” said Britt. “I am excited to see our aviation program grow and I am proud to be a part of a university that can see the value and necessity for offering technical training along with a degree path.”

SUU hopes to get the exemption before the 2018 fall semester starts so it can begin teaching its students based on its own curriculum.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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