West Chicago, Ill. - American Airlines today donated a Boeing 727 aircraft, which it had retired from its fleet, to the Aviation Professional Education Center (APEC) of West Chicago, Ill., and the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., for use in training certified Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMT).
“American Airlines is proud to donate this 727, which proudly flew in American’s livery, to a school that will teach future AMTs,” said John Carpenter, American’s vice president-Corporate Affairs. “We recognize that there is a growing need for highly skilled certified aircraft mechanics, and this new program will help meet the demand.”
The airplane landed at approximately 10:30 a.m. today at DuPage County Airport in West Chicago. The 727, often called ‘The DC-3 of the Jet Age’ because of its versatility and performance, served American’s customers dependably and comfortably for many years. The Boeing 727 was an airline industry workhorse, and American operated the biggest fleet, at one time flying 182 of the tri-engine jets. The 727 was significant to the development of today’s air transportation system. The earliest model 727s entered service in 1964 and helped bring jet service to many smaller communities.
Aircraft maintenance students will attend classes at the LaGrou Technical Park, which is adjacent to the airport. The school opened its doors to students on Oct. 28, 2002.
“We are giving students from DuPage County and throughout the Chicago area the opportunity to train for a very lucrative career as an aviation technician while also earning an Associate in Applied Science degree,” said Robert Nichols, assistant dean for Business and Technology at College of DuPage. “With our alliance with APEC, we can offer the best instructors and classroom atmosphere.” The college’s Aviation Technology program, which began in the late fall quarter, provides hands-on training for students seeking careers in aviation maintenance.”
“This is the culmination of three years of development and we’re glad the program is now a reality,” added APEC president and co-founder Don Ladick. “We know that our students will be well qualified for jobs in the aviation industry when they complete the 20-month program.”
“American Airlines is a carrier that has an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to quality, and we are thankful that American has agreed to support this new school,” said Walter Taff, APEC director of community affairs.
College of DuPage, the largest single-campus college in the United States, was founded in 1967. Dedicated to serving the higher education and cultural needs of Community College District 502, the college serves more than 34,000 students. The Aviation Professional Education Center of West Chicago was founded in 1999 and incorporated as a not-for-profit institution in 2001. It is dedicated to excellence in aviation maintenance education.
American Airlines is the world`s largest carrier. American, in concert with American Eagle and the AmericanConnection regional carriers, makes up the American Airlines network. Together, they serve more than 250 cities in 41 countries and territories with approximately 4,400 daily flights. The combined American Airlines network fleet numbers more than 1,100 aircraft. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld alliance.