The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Bell Helicopter purchase opens doors for students at Alliance Airport facility

By Kirsten Mahon/nw news/multimedia editor

 Over the summer, TCC paid $16 million to Bell Helicopter for a large facility at Fort Worth Alliance Airport that includes a runway and office spaces.

The new development will fall in line with the new flight school that begins next semester. However, the new facility will not be available for classes until next fall. TCC is preparing another leased spot at Alliance Airport to use until the Bell Helicopter facility is finished. 

James Grant, NW dean of business technology and transportation, said the deal has only strengthened TCC’s relationship with Bell Helicopter, which began decades ago when the aviation program first started.

The aviation program is stretched over a few locations. Some classes take place at Meacham Airport, but Grant said this hasn’t been ideal because the Meacham facility is not air-conditioned. NW Campus hosts other aviation courses on campus as well as at Alliance Airport.

The new development is scheduled for completion next summer, Grant said. The aviation program site will be reduced to one area, leaving room for program expansion by adding new courses.

“Our hands have always been tied somewhat because of space,” Grant said. “There’s a lot of demand in this area. This gives us the opportunity to meet that demand.”

Grant said the larger new facility allows the FAA to approve increased enrollment in aviation courses. Contributing factors include time management — with TCC’s current setup over three separate sites, the travel time between aviation course locations leaves less time for instruction, Grant said. The new facility is also expected to house other transportation programs at TCC like the BNSF railroad program.

“Growth in north Fort Worth indicates a possible need to expand core classes at Alliance,” Grant said.

Aviation students are required to take advanced math and science courses in their core curriculum. If NW Campus can extend core curriculum classrooms to the Alliance Airport, Grant said, it would be another extension to NW Campus, not an individual campus.

“Now we can open some professional opportunities through continuing education,” he said, adding that there are numerous possibilities to enhance the aviation program with the new installment.

“There are a million things I haven’t thought of yet,” he said. “But the deal that they have out there is phenomenal.”

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