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Air and Space Institute students praise new facilities on Great North Road, Newark





The first students at the Air and Space Institute (ASI) in Newark have praised the bespoke facilities on offer at the new building.

In April the new dedicated building welcomed its first set of students, who until now have been learning at a temporary space at Newark College.

They have been making the most of their time in the new building by getting hands on with the facilities and engaging in talks with industry professionals and former students about the opportunities available to them.

From left: Kian Deighton, Caelen Wheatley, Callum Williams, Harry Sharman, Cameron Wilschere, Fred Ryans and pilot lecturer, Dave Leonard.
From left: Kian Deighton, Caelen Wheatley, Callum Williams, Harry Sharman, Cameron Wilschere, Fred Ryans and pilot lecturer, Dave Leonard.

Finishing touches still need to be made ahead of the official opening later this year, but in September the ASI expects to welcome over 200 students, expanding to over 300 the following year.

Recently, two former students — Kian now works as cabin crew for Tui, and Christian who works as a distributor at East Midlands Airport — returned to speak to students on the pilot pathway about the different parts of the aviation industry they could go into.

The courses are also taught by lecturers with first hand industry experience, including Dave Leonard, who spent 27 years working as an Aviation Engineer and worked on RAF Hawk Aircract used by the Red Arrows.

Dave said: “Having these new facilities is a game changer for us.

“It has given us an amazing an opportunity to exploit these resources in a space that we haven’t had until this point and bring more industry exposure into more bespoke teaching.

“Our students have just finished their first year of studies and next year will begin selecting the units they want to specialise in.

“The motivation and pride they have in the Air and Space Institute is palpable and is magnificent to see.

“This is the first opportunity we’ve had to invite some of our former students back to talk about their journeys — bringing the whole course full circle, from student, to employee, to mentor.

“It fills me with pride to see them doing so well and I hope it can inspire our current students as they start their own journeys.”

Ex Newark College student, Kian Deighton, talking to ASI students about his job as cabin crew.
Ex Newark College student, Kian Deighton, talking to ASI students about his job as cabin crew.
Curriculum lead, Jim Gutherie, helping a student in the electrical workshop.
Curriculum lead, Jim Gutherie, helping a student in the electrical workshop.

The institute aims to give students a chance to get hands on with industry professionals and equipment to prepare them to enter the workplace.

The unique facilities include the Airbus A318 passenger jet, which takes pride of place in the hangar and will be used in everything from engineering works, to pilot training and tourism.

Elsewhere, students will have access to a number of different aircraft simulators, VR studios for ground crew training, and fabrication and design workshops fitted with the latest equipment from 3D printers and robotic arms, to metal rollers, benders and machinery.

There are also ten different classrooms and an adaptable seminar room for guest speakers and industry leads to hold lectures and meetings.

The Bernoulli flight simulator at the ASI.
The Bernoulli flight simulator at the ASI.
The ASI building has opened to students.
The ASI building has opened to students.

Following the talks, students had nothing but praise for the new facilities and expressed their excitement for the future.

Caelen Wheatley, said: “It’s very unique in how we do things and give us the discipline and a clear image of what we need to go into the workplace.

“I think we all feel more engaged here than with regular A-Level. It’s a subject we all enjoy and get to absorb so much information.

“All our tutors are very approachable and we know if we ever have any questions we can go to them and receive some real life examples from their unique backgrounds.”

Harry Sharmon agreed, saying: “This is something we have all all chosen to do. We all have an interest in aviation, whether that is in the military or commercial aviation.

“I came here with the desire to become a pilot, but it’s been so inspiring it’s given me the belief that I can do it.

“We are always reminded of the bigger picture and given the tools we need to achieve.”

Fred Williams added: “The resources are so good here. For example we were doing a lesson on principles of flight and were able to go down into the hanger and look at all the different bits of the aircraft we were learning about.

“That is a really big benefit, having those dedicated spaces to support of learning in a way that we didn’t before.”

Cameron Wilschere, said: “Doing this course has expanded my knowledge of other jobs in the industry in a way I didn’t think about before.

“In our second year we will have more of that employment training to build on what we have already learnt and how it applies to the workplace.”



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