Since 1932, National Aviation Academy (NAA) has trained aviation maintenance technicians to keep the skies safe – first in New England and later in Tampa Bay. Our Concord, MA campus has a story as rich as its historically significant location. This year, however, it is our Clearwater, FL campus that is celebrating a milestone: 50 years of aviation maintenance training.

A lot can change in 50 years. In 1969, when NAA’s Tampa Bay campus was founded, the population in Pinellas County was 510,765. It has since doubled.* We have been here to watch orange groves transform into thriving communities, bridges gain lanes (and notorious daily traffic patterns), and skies fill with more passengers and cargo than many ever dreamed possible.

In a world where air travel is frequent and next day delivery is becoming standard, aircraft maintenance exists as a silent driver of the global economy. You might not hear about it much, but we would like to change that. In aviation, no news has long been considered good news. It has meant that technicians are doing their work expertly… and they are! But that silence has failed to highlight the growing demands of the industry.

Boeing predicts that 754,000 new aviation maintenance technicians will be needed by 2037.** This is a tremendous opportunity for anyone searching for a worthwhile career with staying power. Education, hands-on training and career pathway pipelines are essential to prepare those with a passion for aviation to do the skilled work required in the field. We offer all of this and more.

As we embark on a year-long celebration of 50 years of aviation maintenance in Tampa Bay, the student experience at both of our campuses continues to be of greatest importance. Updated curriculum, new training tools and increased use of technology will help us keep at the forefront in aviation maintenance training. Constant improvement and a desire to grow alongside the industry will also assist in meeting this goal.

Our core Aviation Maintenance Technology course can take an individual with no mechanical experience and transform them into a certified Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic in as little as 14 months. Innovation in our Advanced Aircraft Systems program provides students the training necessary to master the electric and electronic components of next-generation aircraft. What’s more, we create a community of learners committed to the important work that aviation maintenance professionals do every day.

Here’s to another fifty years dedicated to what we do best: aviation maintenance.


Pam Van Sant
President &
Chief Operating Officer
David Mead
Senior Executive
Vice President Operations & Education
Holli Hudson
Senior Executive Vice President Communications & Market Development
Helen Garland
Executive Vice President Financial Aid & Compliance

*Pinellas County Florida Population Growth and Change (https://florida.reaproject.org/analysis/comparative-trends-analysis/population/tools/120103/120000/)
**According to Boeing’s 2018 Pilot and Technician Outlook