Nashua Community College’s Aviation Program Flying High

Nashua Community College’s Aviation Program Flying High

August 11, 2016

Nashua Community College’s Aviation Program Flying High

Facility Enhancements Needed to Grow Program

Nashua, NH – Nashua Community College’s Aviation Technology Program continues to supply the airline industry with highly trained graduates who fill available positions as they advance in their careers. This hands-on training program is positioned for growth and the Community College System will be looking for state support next year to expand its footprint on the Nashua campus.

The program is the only one in the region to graduate students with the certification they need to complete testing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Graduates go on to assume maintenance positions with large airlines and smaller companies that maintain planes for private use, such as PlaneSense, Inc., which operates out of the Pease Tradeport. 

The program is space intensive, focusing on hands-on learning where students complete all aspects of airplane maintenance and repair on donated equipment. In operation since 1991, the program can currently accommodate about 15 students at a time in its current space.

“Our students range in age from 18 to 35, with some just starting out and some changing careers” said Pat Geoffroy, a faculty member in the program who will take over as program coordinator August 15. “What they all have in common is a shared passion for ensuring that airplanes – from Cessnas to 747s – run as safely and as efficiently as possible.”

Geoffroy, who went through a similar program right out of high school, had his opportunity to work on airplanes during his time in the military. Now he hopes to take Nashua Community Colleges’ program to new heights.

To do so, the facilities will need to be enhanced, according to the FAA, which has cited the space as too small for even its present enrollment. As a result, the Community College System has included a $2.5 million request as part of its capital budget request for the coming two years to the Legislature to expand and enhance the facility so it can increase space for more students and additional aviation equipment that can be incorporated into the learning and training experience.

“This is a very strong program for Nashua Community College. We do need to address our space challenges for the program to remain viable and to accommodate such strong demand as graduates enter the workforce. Our graduates are highly sought-after as they fill a critical need to ensure aircrafts are properly maintained and safe,” Geoffroy said.

Caption: First and second year Aviation Technology students from the 2015-2016 academic year and Pat Geoffroy at the Nashua Airport in June with FIFI, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, which is the only one of its kind still in flight.

About Nashua Community College

Since 1970, Nashua Community College has been successfully meeting the educational needs of the Greater Nashua area through providing a high quality two-year, post-secondary education. The college partners closely with area industries that provide students with a unique perspective in their fields of study, allowing for a real-world experience to further their academic journey. Students can choose from a variety of associate degree and certificate programs, with six of their programs now being offered online. Nashua Community College is a member of the Community College System of New Hampshire. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the "65 by 25 Initiative," which calls for 65 percent of New Hampshire citizens to have some form of postsecondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.