Press Room

Aviation career training for HS students to take flight at ONT as part of partnership between City, Airport and Mt. SAC

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The City of Ontario, Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) want high school students to know that the sky is the limit – quite literally – when it comes to future career opportunities.

The three entities are partnering on a first-of-its-kind Aviation Careers Pathway – an eight-week course free of charge to high school juniors and seniors who live in the City. Instruction would take place at the airport over consecutive Saturdays, from April 23-June 11. Each class will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 12:10 p.m.

The program was conceptualized by Ontario City Councilmember Debra Porada and Mayor pro Tem Alan D. Wapner, who also serves as President of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Board of Commissioners.

“Aviation careers are among the fastest-growing professions in the U.S., offering good pay and strong upward mobility. The fact that we’ve got a great international airport right here in our city makes this a great opportunity for Ontario and our young people,” Porada said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of commercial airline pilots is expected to increase by 13% from 2020-2030 – well above the projected 7.7% average growth rate for all other jobs. Similar strong demand is expected for aircraft mechanics and technicians, with the total number of jobs expected to increase by 11% during that 10-year period.

Average annual pay ranges from $67,000 for airline mechanics and technicians to more than $130,000 for commercial pilots.

Wapner noted that ONT’s emergence as America’s fastest-growing airport and a dominant international cargo hub has put a premium on a well-trained, skilled workforce.

“These are good jobs that contribute not only to ONT’s future as one of the great, rising U.S. airports, but to this robust region we serve,” Wapner said. “Ontario International Airport is an economic driver for San Bernardino County, the Inland Empire and Southern California generally, contributing billions of dollars a year to the local economy. We want to thank the staffs at the City and airport for making this happen and implementing the policy suggested by the Ontario City Council and the OIAA Commission.”

Students can sign up for AERO 98 at For more information, contact Robert Rogus at (909) 274-5006 or [email protected].

The Mt. SAC partnership is one of several aviation career training options available to Ontario students. San Bernardino Valley College and Chaffey College also offer aviation career coursework.

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About the City of Ontario

The City of Ontario Elevates the quality-of-life by creating urban lifestyle districts that create sustainable places to live, work and play. Located just 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the City of Ontario is ideally situated as a gateway to Southern California. With major freeways, rail transportation and International Airport, Ontario offers the rest of the world to be a part of a culturally diverse community with rich history that is well positioned for quality development and economic sustainability for its 185,000 residents.  Complementing its business and residential core, Ontario offers premium entertainment venues such as the Ontario Convention Center, Toyota Arena, and the Ontario Mills Mall. To learn more about the City of Ontario, visit or call (909) 395-2000.

About Ontario International Airport

Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. Located in the Inland Empire, ONT is approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a full-service airport which, before the coronavirus pandemic, offered nonstop commercial jet service to 26 major airports in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Taiwan. More information is available at Follow @flyONT on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram