American Airlines announced last week the latest recipients of its flight education grant program, awarding more than $300,000 to schools and organizations working to grow and diversify the pilot population.

Among the 10 organizations chosen by American—and one of only two K-12 public school districts represented on the list—was McKinney ISD, which received $25,000 to benefit the district’s aviation program.

“Of the nearly 600 organizations we invited to participate in our program, these 10 stood out with innovative ideas on growing and diversifying the pilot career path and creating opportunities for those who may not otherwise have the chance to learn,” said Captain David Tatum, American’s Director of Pilot Recruiting and Development.

In a Jan. 19 ceremony held at he C.R. Smith Museum, American awarded these organizations grants totaling $313,000:

  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
  • Aspen AEROspace
  • Community College of Beaver County
  • Delta State University
  • Kansas State University
  • McKinney ISD Aviation Academy
  • Ocala Aviation Services
  • Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
  • Saint Louis University
  • V. R. Eaton High School and Aviation & Aeronautics Academy

In May 2017, American awarded more than $140,000 in grants to seven other institutions with a focus on aviation:

  • Tuskegee Next
  • Riverside Flight Center
  • Infinity Flight Group
  • U.S. Aviation Academy
  • Midwest Air LLC d/b/a Crosswinds Aviation
  • Global Aviation Corp
  • Aviation Academy/UNT

McKinney ISD began offering aviation classes in 2011 with an initial enrollment of just over 40 students. Within two years the program had grown to more than 200 students, and in 2013, the district added an FAA-approved flight simulator that would allow students to earn flight time hours with an instructor. Now, with this generous grant from American, the district will add more.

“The grant that we received from American Airlines is going to be used for flight simulators that will allow our students to get flight training hours without having to pay for flight time in the air,” said Todd Young, MISD senior director of college and career readiness and AVID. “We’re always looking for ways to reduce costs for the kids, so the grant will be great for our program.”

Through partnerships with organizations like American Airlines and others, MISD is able to offer pathways for students to enter the field of aviation for a far more accessible cost than traditional flight school or aviation mechanics training.

Source: American Airlines Group

About American Airlines Group  American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, whose members serve more than 1,000 destinations with about 14,250 daily flights to over 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at

For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or