Airbus Partners with Snap-on to Provide Tooling Certifications for its New FlightPath9 Training Program

Airbus estimates the aviation industry will need to hire 640,000 new technicians in the next 20 years, according to its recently released Global Market Forecast for 2019-2038. To assist in this effort, Airbus is partnering with Snap-on to help train this next generation of technicians through a bold new program called FlightPath9, which prepares high school seniors for careers in aviation.

The FlightPath9 program targets southern Alabama high school seniors with a desire to work in aerospace. The nine-month course curriculum includes several aviation-focused Snap-on certifications that are facilitated through the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3). Snap-on certifications are designed to further the tool usage skills and hands-on knowledge of students. These include:

  • Precision Measuring Instruments (in partnership with L.S. Starrett Corporation)
  • Precision Electrical Termination (in partnership with Daniels Manufacturing Corporation)
  • Structural Sheetmetal Assembly
  • Mechanical and Electronic Torque
  • Multimeter
  • Tools at Height

“We partnered with Snap-on because Airbus uses Snap-on tools in the U.S. Manufacturing Facility, and it had already developed these certifications for the aviation industry.  It’s a good match for the students in the training program who will join the Airbus team upon successful completion of the FlightPath9 program” said Michelle Hurdle, Director of Economic and Community Development, Airbus Americas.

“The partnership Snap-on has with Airbus is a perfect example of the types of collaboration we seek within the aviation industry, helping to create a program that will improve the skills and knowledge of tomorrow’s technicians,” says John Gamble, Education Partnerships manager, Snap-on Industrial.

Snap-on certification courses emphasize tool theory, application, and usage: three areas of study that equip students with an essential foundation for proficiency, productivity, and safety. The certifications provide conformity to an established standard and will be integrated into the existing course curriculum being taught by FlightPath9, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Airbus instructors.  

FlightPath9 and Fast Track

The first FlightPath9 class started last month with 25 students who attend four hours of class two evenings per week in a training center near the Airbus aircraft production facility in Mobile, AL. FlightPath9 will lay the foundation of a career in aviation for students, some of whom may have little to no prior aviation or aerospace experience.

When students successfully complete FlightPath9, they enter the second phase of training: Fast Track, which is a 12-week program where they’ll hone their skills on aircraft assembly, including torqueing, riveting, gauging, reading blueprints, tool use, ergonomics and more. Students entering Fast Track will be full-time Airbus employees, earning a salary, benefits, etc.

According to Hurdle, “These programs are really about inspiring kids, giving them STEM-focused education and awareness to aviation. Our goal is to impact the community as a whole.”

Students who successfully complete Fast Track will work on the assembly of Airbus’ A220 and A320 aircraft.

In addition to earning certifications, eligible students can also receive special student pricing on Snap-on tools through Snap-on’s Student Excellence Program.

For more information on Snap-on’s certification program, call John Gamble (413) 441-5429; email,; or visit For more information on Airbus’ FlightPath9 and Fast Track training programs, visit

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