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Community members ask Midland College to rethink closing aviation program

"We've got to keep this school here, we've got to keep it," said Sylvia O Bailey-Munoz, a supporter of the AMT program.

MIDLAND, Texas — The Aircraft Maintenance Technology school was not an item on the agenda at the board of trustees meeting, but that didn't stop people from showing up and voicing their opinions.

"We've got to keep this school here, we've got to keep it," said Sylvia O Bailey-Munoz, a supporter of the AMT program.

Six people signed up to make public comment about why they think closing the tech school was a mistake, from multiple different companies in the area.

"In the past five years, CSI aviation has grown substantially they've went from having two part time mechanics to 12 full time in the last five years so the need is there from mechanics," said Jacob Ponter, a pilot with CSI aviation.

Mechanics are necessary for these aviation businesses and for airlines as a whole.

"Every single flight I've been on out of midland has been delayed due to maintenance so American united, its always a maintenance delay so they're hurting also the big airlines us as a medivac company we have to have mechanics", Ponter said.

Some people are concerned about how closing the school will affect Midland as a whole.

"We've got to keep the school open for the kids, that's important, it could cost midland jobs, companies not moving to Midland and that could cost other people jobs," O Bailey-Munoz said. 

A lot of people in the community are passionate about this issue,

"You could say there's a really strong community here that wants this for midland and knows the importance of it," Ponter said. "Knowing that there's a huge need in the airlines right now and in aviation period for mechanics you know the planes won't fly without them, everybody knows there's a huge pilot shortage right now everybody knows there's a mechanic shortage with that so I think that there's a huge demand here and this is a great location for it."

Even though people spoke out, right now there is no plan for midland college to reopen the program.

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