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FAA suspends Atlanta Technical College's aviation maintenance technician school certificate

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an order suspending Atlanta Technical College's maintenance technician school certificate.

Atlanta Technical College is part of the Technical College System of Georgia. The college has not enrolled any students or conducted any courses in its aviation maintenance technology program since May 2014, according to the FAA, which said it rescinded its approval of the curriculum in June 2014.

Students who receive certificates must apply to the FAA for authorization to take exams for an air frame or power plant certificate, and the agency has not been accepting applications from students who completed the curriculum since May 2014. Many students who studied at Atlanta Technical College transferred to other schools to complete the curriculum before applying to the FAA to take the exams, the agency said.

However, the FAA alleged the college continued to administer exit exams and issue certificates of completion to former students "when it knew it was not authorized to do so." The college also did not hand over copies of certificates of completion issued since June 2014 and an explanation of how the students received the certificates without FAA-approved curriculum when requested by the FAA, the agency said.

The FAA issued an emergency order of suspension, saying in a Nov. 29 letter that "safety in air commerce or air transportation and the public interest require the suspension of the above mentioned certificate(s) until you are recertified and your qualifications can be established."

In the letter, the agency alleged that instructors at the college failed to maintain required records on grades, attendance and make-up reports for students in several courses in the aviation maintenance technology program. The FAA also alleged that several students who had not made up absences were still allowed to move on to the next block of instruction.

This week, the college said in a written statement that it is "on track to become in full compliance with the FAA's requirements and anticipates the restoration of its Air Agency certificate."

"We look forward to future inspection of our program by the FAA," the statement from Atlanta Technical College said. "We will accept students again in the aviation maintenance program once the certificate is reinstated."


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Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.