Embry-Riddle, Honda Aircraft and SSPC Create and Recognize New Industry Certification for Aircraft Coatings Quality

The collaboration was driven by a common goal to lead the industry toward higher paint quality by creating a standard for quality in the preparation of an aircraft's surface and in the training of professionals to consistently achieve that standard.


LAS VEGAS, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings and Honda Aircraft today marked their creation of the first ever industry certification for Aerospace Coatings Applicators professionals by conferring this new credential upon four Honda Aircraft employees, who are the first people to complete the certification program.  

SSPC and Embry-Riddle conducted the first professional training and certification of individuals involved in this aerospace coatings application.  Jason O'Neal, Michael Garza, Eliot Ewald, and Jeffrey Varner - all from Honda Aircraft Company - are the first four recipients of the new certification, which they completed in late August 2011.

The collaboration between Embry-Riddle, SSPC and Honda Aircraft was driven by a common goal to lead the industry toward higher paint quality by creating a standard for quality in the preparation of an aircraft's surface and in the training of professionals to consistently achieve that standard.

The three organizations that worked together to create the standards for the credential and the curriculum for the training program, marked the first graduation with a brief ceremony at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention, the world's largest business aviation annual event, held this year in Las Vegas.

"In our role as a global leader in Aviation and Aerospace education, it was logical for Embry-Riddle to take the lead in developing a training program for aerospace coatings applicators as part of our mission to the industry," said Al Astbury, Director of Embry-Riddle – Worldwide's Office of Professional Education.  

"SSPC is honored that we were chosen by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Honda Aircraft to be a partner in this first of its kind training and certification program dealing with aerospace coatings application," said William Shoup of SSPC.  "Aircraft coatings are extremely important in preventing corrosion and cracking, as can be documented by the structural failure that occurred in Hawaii in 1988 and the recent structural failure with a major airline.  Coatings are the first line of defense in preventing such structural failures and certified applicators are the vanguards in such an effort."  

"People at Honda always have a passion for quality and attention to detail, we have experience in creating processes to help ensure quality and ongoing improvement, and we share the view that there was a need to define a benchmark in aviation coatings, so we were delighted to work with Embry-Riddle and SSPC to help create this program and honored to have our associates be the first to complete it," said Craig Estep, Vice President of Manufacturing at Honda Aircraft Company.  "Quality is a differentiator for the HondaJet and we are applying the principles of this new Aerospace Coatings Applicators certification as we ramp up HondaJet production."    

Embry-Riddle will offer fully online training to lead to the new Aerospace Coatings Applicators certification program beginning in January 2012.  For more information visit the Professional Education website at www.erau.edu/professionaleducation.

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