Mission Statement and History of the Aviation Technology Program
The aviation technology program in Indianapolis is part of the Department of Aviation Technology within Purdue University 's College of Technology system. At Indianapolis, the College of Technology is partnered with IUPUI as its host institution.
The Aviation Technology Center, located at the Indianapolis International Airport, houses both Purdue's College of Technology at Indianapolis and Vincennes University 's aviation maintenance and flight programs.
The mission for the College of Technology at Indianapolis is to provide high quality aviation and aerospace education in Aviation Operations Technology (AOT) as we prepare the future leaders of a dynamic and highly global industry.
Purdue Aviation Technology, History
In the 1940s, Purdue's School of Aeronautical Engineering developed a four-year, non-engineering program in air transportation. With options in flight, maintenance, and management, the University utilized its own airport and aircraft as a laboratory. Another resource was Purdue Aeronautics Corporation, which operated the airport and a fleet of DC-3 aircraft.
By the 1950s, the school determined that the air transportation program was not consistent with their future goals. The management portion of the program was absorbed into the School of Management . The flight and maintenance options were terminated. To utilize the already available aeronautic resources, flight and maintenance-training programs were established in the Division of Technical Institutes (DTI); the initial beginning of Purdue's Department of Aviation Technology.
A two-year program in aviation maintenance technology (AMT) was launched in 1954 followed by professional pilot technology (PPT) in 1956. The AMT program prepared students to be eligible for the Civil Aeronautics Administration Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic certification. The PPT program utilized Purdue Aeronautics Corporation's (PAC) DC-3 aircraft and required students to have a commercial pilot certificate prior to entering the program. Initially, both programs heavily utilized PAC equipment and facilities for laboratories. Although located on the West Lafayette campus, the program was not initially considered a part of the University's academic programs. Subjects were taught in special courses and aviation students paid extra fees.
The development of specialized courses, acquisition of laboratory development, and official recognition as one of the University's academic programs line-up were major goals of the late 1950s. By 1960, all academic subjects were being taught within the University course structure. In 1961, aviation students paid only the standard University tuition and fees. A third program, aviation electronics technology (AET), was initiated in fall 1961. Spring 1962 graduates were the first Purdue aviation students to receive associate degrees from the University.
Three significant events occurred in 1964; the establishment of the School of Technology, the development of an ab-initio flight training program, and the conversion of the existing flight option into a BS degree program.
The School of Technology was formed as an organizational structure for the University's various two-year technical associate degree programs, including aviation technology. Also included in the school were the departments of Industrial Education and Industrial Supervision, both four-year BS degree granting programs. The creation of the School of Technology enhanced the concept of the 2+2 curricula at a time when an increasing number of students were seeking a BS degree. Also of major significance was the designation of the aviation unit as a department of the school. This structure continues today and has allowed the continual growth and development of the Department of Aviation Technology.
Significant events include:
- The demise of Purdue Aeronautics Corporation and its sequel, Purdue Airlines, Inc., during the early 1970s, forcing the development of additional courses and laboratories.
- A second BS degree option for aviation maintenance students initiated in 1977.
- The aviation electronics program terminated as an associate degree program in the late 1970s. Most content and resources relocated as advanced coursework in the aviation maintenance BS degree option.
- Development of the aviation administration (AAT) program during the mid-1980s.
- Aviation maintenance technology (AMT) changed to Aeronautical Engineering Technology (AET) to better reflect mission of program.
- Expansion of aviation technology coursework to the Indianapolis Statewide Technology site during the early 1990s.
- Development of industrial partnerships.
- Renaming of aviation administration (AAT) to aviation management (AM) in 2003.
- Departmental reorganization in 2009 and subsequent reorganization of the Indianapolis Statewide Technology location to focus on degree completion and its newly-expanded partnership with Vincennes University.