Bell, A Textron Company

An aviation pioneer, Bell breaks barriers again.

May 3, 2022

The first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter, aviation pioneer Bell has broken barriers again, collaborating with Northeast State Technical College and NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership to establish Northeast’s Aviation Technology program. The program allows students to complete either certification or a two-year Associate’s degree that qualifies graduates to take the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) aviation mechanic license exam. And today, Northeast is the first college in the nation to offer a program of this type free to qualified Tennessee residents through the Tennessee Promise program.

Here in Northeast Tennessee, Bell’s Piney Flats service operation has grown steadily since Bell and parent company Textron purchased it in 1999. The Customer Service Center offers integrated support solutions for helicopter owners throughout the Northeastern United States and beyond, with experienced technicians providing customization, MRO and any other needed mission-specific support.

While the new and already expanding Aviation Technology program is supplying a critical talent pipeline for Bell, it is also opening strategic cluster opportunities here in the region.