The growing aviation industry is suffering from a shortage of aircraft mechanics.
Aviation is one of the largest industries in Oklahoma – second only to oil and gas.
The city of Tulsa, home to several tech schools, graduates hundreds of aviation mechanics each year.
“Currently, the aviation industry is booming. The airlines are busy, corporate aviation is busy, flight schools are training more pilots, said Bill Christiansen, owner of Christiansen Aviation.
Growth in the aviation industry means more flights and more hours in the sky.
“Each aircraft must be inspected every hundred hours of flight. And every year another examination called annual examination should be done. And the current issue is that there are not enough mechanics,” he said.
It’s a huge problem around the world, but Tulsa is playing a role in the solution.
Sherrill Oxley, Tulsa Tech’s aviation program coordinator, is training the next generation of aviation mechanics.
“We’re trying as hard as we can to fill the hole,” she said. “The vast majority of the mechanic population currently employed is aging out of the workforce…so we need to start filling that gap. … There has never been a better time to be in the aviation and aerospace sector.
Tulsa Tech graduates 100-150 airline mechanics each year.