San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Aviation School Gets Lift

By Elliot Golan Friday, February 15, 2013

An aviation mechanics school facing closure at Van Nuys Airport moved another step closer to remaining open now that the FAA has given its blessing to a cut-rate lease for the school.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which has final oversight over airport operations, told airport owner Los Angeles World Airports that it did not object to a $1-a-year lease for the North Valley Occupational Center Aviation Center.

The school, which has operated at the airport for decades, faced a rent increase from LAWA, a Los Angeles city agency. The current lease expires in June.

The federal agency’s decision, delivered in a letter, was made public by the Los Angeles Unified School District, which funds the school but recently cut its budget further damaging its finances.

“I am pleased to see that the FAA is listening to the San Fernando Valley and that they are taking swift action,” said LAUSD Board Member Nury Martinez, in a statement.

The school got another big boost this week when it received a $100,000 donation from Sensor Systems Inc. of Chatsworth, the largest aircraft antenna manufacturer in the United States.

The Aviation Center offers a two-year course and works as a job incubator for aircraft maintenance firms, commercial carriers and aerospace companies.