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FAA Administrator Highlights Missouri Innovation Campus Aerospace Academy During Tour of UCM Lee's Summit

By Janice Phelan, July 6, 2021

Steve Dickson at UCM-LSPierce Jacoby (left), a student in the Aerospace Academy, demonstrates equipment during the tour. Also pictured are Dr. Jeremy Bonnesen and Steve Dickson (right).

Steve Dickson, administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration, highlighted the new Aerospace Academy, a collaborative effort involving the University of Central Missouri and Summit Technology Academy during a June 28 visit to the Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC).


“These students right here are our future,” Dickson said. “We welcome their energy and enthusiasm as they grow through their studies. This is one of the most exciting times to start lifelong learning and a career in aerospace.”


During his tour of the MIC, Dickson heard about the Aerospace Academy, designed for both high-school and college students with a goal of enhancing the talent pipeline for a qualified workforce in this high-demand field. In addition, the FAA administrator participated in a student demonstration of aerospace equipment at the MIC.


Beginning in fall 2021, students will enter the program as high-school juniors with a focus on aviation-related fields such as avionics, aerospace engineering, aviation maintenance, aviation management, unmanned/drone pilot, professional pilot and military aviation. 


In addition to UCM and Lee’s Summit R-7’s Summit Technology Academy, the Aerospace Academy partnership includes the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport, the City of Lee’s Summit and a number of industry leaders such as Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), Ultrax Aerospace Engineering, Aircraft Institute of Maintenance (AIM). AEA, which provides industry training, is donating aerospace equipment through its educational foundation, including an electronic flight instrument system, radio equipment, antennas, wiring, tool benches, tool sets and more. 


UCM, which has an aviation flight program that began more than 50 years ago, is sharing expertise, connections and additional resources. UCM is also one of just a few universities with an aviation program as well as its own airport, located in  Warrensburg. 


The Aerospace Academy is unique within the Midwest and has drawn interest from throughout the nation. Joe Mullins of UCM and Dr. Jeremy Bonnesen of Summit Technology Academy are leading the project. For more information about the new program, contact Bonnesen,, or Mullins,



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