Maui Business

Island Air Offers Aviation Career Explorers Program

December 23, 2015, 8:00 AM HST
* Updated December 23, 7:21 AM
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Island Air. Courtesy photo.

Island Air. Courtesy photo.

Island Air is accepting applications for its Explorers Program, a three-month mentorship program that gives high school and college students an opportunity to learn about careers in the aviation industry.

Enrollment is open to students between the ages of 14 and 20 from O‘ahu high schools and colleges. Space is limited to just 15 applicants. Only students who attend and submit an application during orientation night will be eligible. Orientation is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. at the Bishop Museum’s Atherton Hālau.

“Island Air is honored to play a role in preparing Hawai‘i’s youth for careers in aviation,” said David Pflieger, CEO of Island Air.

The program offers participants a unique, hands-on introduction to the aviation industry. Students will learn everything from how airplanes operate to customer relations management and corporate responsibility.

The program is broken up into 10 weekly sessions that provide information for airline-related jobs, such as pilots, flight attendants, ramp operators and aircraft mechanics.


It also includes visits and lectures from members of the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration and Air Traffic Control.


For the first time in program history, the incoming class of Explorers will have the opportunity to participate in the same cockpit procedures training as Island Air’s pilots. Students will get to see a visual display of taxi, takeoffs, landings and approaches in real time. With realistic sound, Air Traffic Control chatter, weather and the local Hawai‘i environment, Explorers will be able to practice the checklists used during the different stages of flight operation.

Island Air Explorers is the only student workforce initiative in the aviation industry on O‘ahu. It became an official Explorer Post from Boy Scouts of America when the program graduated its first class of students in April 2009.

Since its founding, 106 students have completed the course. Many have returned to Island Air for internships or full-time employment.


In addition to mentorship, the top achiever in the program each year earns the Jaime Wagatsuma Award, which provides an outstanding student Explorer with a $1,500 scholarship.

For more information and an application, go online.

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