The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA) continues its partnership with Jackson Public Schools (JPS) and Jackson State University (JSU) with the kickoff of the second JMAA Education and Training Academy, known as JET-A, “Fueling the Future of Aviation – Get Set to Jet!” program that took place on Monday, July 12 at Hawkins Field Airport (HKS) in the heart of Jackson, Mississippi. The theme for this year’s academy is “U 2 Can Fly.”
Over twenty students selected by JPS with the potential to become future aviation professionals are enjoying a robust curriculum which includes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) principles and concepts, developed through the partnership with JSU.
A collaborative group of external partners, including nonprofit organizations and other public and private entities, have joined together to provide students with extensive learning opportunities, including flight simulators, flight design challenges, seminars, an aviation career fair, aerodynamics exercises, facility tours, and more.
All activities and training are being held at HKS, JSU, and at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN). In coordinating the events and activities for the academy, JMAA and partners are continuing to adhere to and enforce all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Face coverings, personal hand sanitizer, and a copy of CDC guidelines and JET-A Health & Safety Requirements will be provided.
To further prevent the spread of COVID-19, JMAA has provided the following preventive methods to be heavily enforced during the week.
• Hand sanitizer stations have been installed;
• Floor decals and markings to illustrate six (6) feet of social distancing;
• Frequent hand washing breaks for twenty seconds with water and soap;
• Transport vehicles will undergo cleaning and sanitizing after each transport;
• Frequent announcements and reminders to maintain social distancing, and avoid touching face, mouth, nose, and eyes;
• Continuous deep cleaning of equipment and facilities and other materials; and
• Any sick person(s) will not be permitted to continue participation in the academy.
The week of events began at HKS with an inspiring welcome from the JMAA CEO, Paul A. Brown, followed by remarks from Commissioner LTC (R) Lucius Wright, Ed.D.
“It’s my privilege to welcome you to JET-A, the academy that not only teaches you how aviation works, but this year, we’re teaching you how to fly, because you too can fly,” said Brown. “This is a great day for Mississippi and especially for the youth of Jackson. This is the heart of aviation for the entire state of Mississippi. Hawkins Field has a rich tradition in aviation and you’re training this week is a big part of that tradition. You are now part of America’s aviation history!”
When asked about what the academy means to the youth in Jackson and aviation careers, Commissioner Wright shared the importance of spreading aviation awareness.
“We know there’s a critical shortage of pilots throughout the country, probably throughout the world,” said Commissioner Wright. We have potential young people here who can take advantage of that opportunity. Not only because of the monetary value it gives you, it just gives you skillset that other people don’t have and with that comes a lot of pride.”
The academy’s last day will feature the official JET-A Closing Ceremony on Friday, July 16 at 3:00 PM at JAN. During the ceremony, students will be presented with a certificate of completion and a special academy pin by the JMAA Board of Commissioners and CEO.