The Aircraft Mechanics Program at Southern California’s Van Nuys Airport, a vital part of the local aviation community for more than 30 years, was almost forced to close its doors this year when its rent rose to $12,000 per month. Established by the Los Angeles Unified School District, and run by the district’s North Valley Occupational Center, the school trains nearly 200 students a year in airframe and powerplant maintenance.
The Van Nuys Airport Association, which includes several NBAA members, identified an FAA provision that would allow VNY operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to charge the A&P school only $1 a year in rent. In most cases, the FAA’s guidance is for airports to charge tenants the fair-market rate for rent but it makes a special exception for nonprofit and educational programs. LAWA announced the $1-a-year lease had been approved and the school would stay open.
In addition, Si Robin, owner of Sensor Systems, where many of the school’s graduates work making aircraft antennas, made a $100,000 donation to the program.