ARLINGTON – A year-long school tour with former Dallas Cowboy Russell Maryland and aviation professionals culminated March 23 when students selected through an essay competition will fly a full-motion aircraft simulator at CAE at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the largest corporate aviation training center in the world.
CAE provides civil aviation, military and helicopter training services in more than 45 locations worldwide and trains approximately 100,000 crew members yearly. High school students who attended one of approximately 15 aviation outreach events in the last year and submitted an essay about why an aviation and aerospace career is of interest were eligible for the event at CAE with Maryland and aviation professionals.
Maryland, who is a three-time Super Bowl Champion with the Dallas Cowboys and two-time National Champion with the University of Miami, is committed to impressing upon youth the value of education. He teamed up with aviation staff at the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) to visit area schools and bring flight simulators to excite and educate students about careers in aviation.
The effort, also intended to generally pique students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, complemented the launch of the new North Texas aviation and aerospace career website.
The website, www.nctaviationcareers.com, was developed to show students a path to a successful career in aviation. An interactive career planning tool allows students to quickly explore information such as job descriptions, salary, projected job growth and educational requirements. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for students to discover which aspects of aviation interest them and options for pursuing education needed in those careers. The website highlights more than 25 types of aviation-related careers, and it includes information on how to fund a student’s education, a list of potential grants and scholarships, internships, and even resources for parents and educators.
North Texas’ status as the largest metropolitan area in the nation without access to a seaport has led to the development of a wealth of aviation assets and opportunities. There are more than 300 aviation-related businesses in the region plus 500 others statewide. In Texas, the aviation industry employs an estimated 771,000 people and boasts an economic output of $59 billion.
Attracting students to become part of a qualified aviation workforce is important to the aviation industry and region. A study of local demand for aviation jobs reveals shortages are expected for avionics or aircraft electronics professionals as well as technicians, pilots, flight engineers and air traffic controllers as current professionals near retirement. In North Texas, aviation activities are expected to increase through 2035, according to the long-term general aviation and heliport system plan.