The Westfield Technical Academy Aviation Program is the only aeronautical program of its kind in the northeast and state education officials toured the program Thursday.
Department of Education Commissioner Jeff Reilly toured Westfield Technical Academy Thursday afternoon.
The nearly 50 students in the school’s 4-year aviation program work hands-on with aircraft, while receiving a high-school education.
In order to receive their aircraft mechanic licenses, students are required to log 1900 hours in the school’s shop or at Hanger #2 at Barnes Municipal Airport.
“We work on aircraft to get our license, aircraft maintenance technician license and airframe license,” said Even Ploof, Westfield Technical Academy sophomore.
“What you see here is everything that we want,” Jeff Riley added. “Right, kids working on airplanes, maintenance, and repair, making sure the checklists are done. It’s very impressive.”
Westfield School Superintendent Stefan Czaporoswksi told 22News students who graduate from the aviation program earn an average of $70,000 per year in their first job.
Westfield is one of three schools in the country that offers an FAA-certified aviation program.