American Airlines has announced that following the retirement of the last of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80 fleet to Roswell, New Mexico, it is donating the last two MD-80 aircraft to CareerTech in Oklahoma City, and Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, the company said.
The donations to the two schools provides aviation maintenance students the opportunity to gain practical experience by working on a commercial aircraft.
With the MD-80 donation, CareerTech can expand aviation workforce preparation from a statewide level to the entire CareerTech system. The aircraft will be used to train students in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations, and the corresponding curriculum and training materials will be utilized at all CareerTech technology centers that provide aerospace training.
The MD-80 donation helps Lewis University Aviation and Transportation develop a new generation of training as it provides an updated avionics package and broadens opportunities for students to earn more Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificates. All 700 current Aviation and Transportation students will use the MD-80 at some point in their studies, however, it will primarily be used by nearly 200 students in the Aviation Maintenance Management program.
American participates in initiatives that help introduce students to STEM careers in aviation.
The airline has facilitated other maintenance hangar tours for students at Chicago O´Hare International Airport and Tulsa International Airport. Additionally, American´s Line Maintenance team at Los Angeles International Airport partnered with Project Scientist Academy and Tomorrow´s Aeronautical Museum earlier this year as part of an initiative that supports aspiring young aviators from Compton, California.