Congressman Bill Owens announced today that FedEx will donate a 727-200F aircraft to the Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute in August. The aircraft will help PAI train the next generation of aviation professionals and mechanics. Congressman Bill Owens wrote to FedEx on June 15th, pushing for the donation to bolster the creation of high-tech, quality jobs in Upstate New York.
"The addition of this aircraft will help the Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute in their efforts to train skilled workers for high-tech jobs in the community," Owens said. "This equipment will provide valuable experience to students at the Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute and make them marketable to potential employers. I would like to thank FedEx for the generous donation and the hard work done by Garry Douglas, Barry Mack, Jim McCartney, Senator Schumer, and Senator Gillibrand. I look forward to seeing great things come out of this announcement."
Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, applauded the move.
"This is an incredible new asset for Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute and for future aerospace training in the North Country, and we can't thank FedEx enough for their generosity," Douglas said. "This has also been a key agenda item we have been working with our Washington representatives on, and Congressman Owens and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand have been real champions for us. In our most recent trip to Washington in early June, PAI was with us and we emphasized the importance of hopefully obtaining such a plane this year. They all went to bat for us again and now we have success. Onward and upward for PAI and for aerospace development at Plattsburgh International Airport!"
Dr. Barry Mack, Director of Champlain Valley Educational Services, reports that over 70 high school and adult students are already enrolled at PAI this year.
"The FedEx donation of a retired 727-200F aircraft to the Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute (PAI) will be a major instructional addition to the Aviation Tech program for CV-TEC. The enormously generous donation from FedEx will provide our regional high school and adult students with a large jet with functioning systems to help them meet their FAA requirements as a Airframe and Powerplant technician. FedEx will also be providing necessary parts and training on the aircraft for our CV-TEC instructors," said Dr. Mack. "We are very appreciative of the efforts of Congressman Owens and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand."
FedEx is retiring the 727-200F aircraft from their current fleet. A copy of Owens' letter to FedEx as well as their response is attached.