Oct 11, 2011

Embry-Riddle, Honda Aircraft and SSPC Create and Recognize New Industry Certification for Aircraft Coatings Quality

LAS VEGAS, NV - October 11, 2011 – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, SSPC:The Society for Protective Coatings and Honda Aircraft today marked their creation of the first ever industry certification for Aerospace Coatings Applicators professionals by conferring this new credential upon four Honda Aircraft employees, who are the first people to complete the certification program.

SSPC and Embry-Riddle conducted the first professional training and certification of individuals involved in this aerospace coatings application. Jason O’Neal, Michael Garza, Eliot Ewald, and Jeffrey Varner - all from Honda Aircraft Company - are the first four recipients of the new certification, which they completed in late August 2011.

The collaboration between Embry-Riddle, SSPC and Honda Aircraft was driven by a common goal to lead the industry toward higher paint quality by creating a standard for quality in the preparation of an aircraft’s surface and in the training of professionals to consistently achieve that standard.

The three organizations that worked together to create the standards for the credential and the curriculum for the training program, marked the first graduation with a brief ceremony at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention, the world’s largest business aviation annual event, held this year in Las Vegas.

“In our role as a global leader in Aviation and Aerospace education, it was logical for Embry-Riddle to take the lead in developing a training program for aerospace coatings applicators as part of our mission to the industry,” said Al Astbury, Director of Embry-Riddle – Worldwide’s Office of Professional Education.

“SSPC is honored that we were chosen by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Honda Aircraft to be a partner in this first of its kind training and certification program dealing with aerospace coatings application,” said William Shoup of SSPC. “Aircraft coatings are extremely important in preventing corrosion and cracking, as can be documented by the structural failure that occurred in Hawaii in 1988 and the recent structural failure with a major airline. Coatings are the first line of defense in preventing such structural failures and certified applicators are the vanguards in such an effort.”

“People at Honda always have a passion for quality and attention to detail, we have experience in creating processes to help ensure quality and ongoing improvement, and we share the view that there was a need to define a benchmark in aviation coatings, so we were delighted to work with Embry-Riddle and SSPC to help create this program and honored to have our associates be the first to complete it,” said Craig Estep, Vice President of Manufacturing at Honda Aircraft Company. “Quality is a differentiator for the HondaJet and we are applying the principles of this new Aerospace Coatings Applicators certification as we ramp up HondaJet production.”

Embry-Riddle will offer fully online training to lead to the new Aerospace Coatings Applicators certification program beginning in January 2012. For more information visit the Professional Education website at www.erau.edu/professionaleducation.

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus at more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit http://www.erau.edu.

About SSPC

SSPC is dedicated to the use of high-performance coatings for the protection and preservation of steel, concrete and other industrial structures. Founded in 1950 as the Steel Structures Painting Council, SSPC is the only non-profit association whose sole mission is to promote and support the use of protective, marine and industrial coatings for corrosion protection. Its surface preparation and other standards are used in painting specifications worldwide to provide a solid foundation for protective coatings work. In addition to standards, SSPC provides painting contractor certification, develops training and certification programs for individuals, provides advocacy, and publishes a wide range of information resources. Membership in SSPC includes over 9,000 coatings professionals and over 800 industry-related companies. For more information, visit www.SSPC.org.

About HondaJet

HondaJet is the most advanced light business jet aircraft, with best-in-class advantages in performance, comfort, quality and efficiency. The HondaJet is the fastest, highest-flying, most quiet and most fuel efficient in its class. The HondaJet incorporates many technological innovations in aviation design, including a unique over-the-wing engine-mount configuration that dramatically improves performance and fuel efficiency by reducing aerodynamic drag. This airframe design reduces cabin noise and ground-detected noise when overhead and allows for a more spacious cabin and greater cargo capacity. The HondaJet is powered by two highly fuel-efficient GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines, and is equipped with the most advanced glass flight deck available in any light business jet, a Honda-customized Garmin® G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system with a class-leading layout of three 14-inch landscape-format displays and dual touch-screen controllers.   The HondaJet is Honda's first-ever commercial aircraft and lives up to the company's reputation for superior performance, efficiency, and value.

About Honda Aircraft Company

Honda Aircraft Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motors Inc., was founded in 2006 though has its heritage in more than 20 years of ground-breaking aeronautical research and development. At Honda Aircraft’s World Headquarters campus in North Carolina, the birthplace of aviation, the company’s associates work in more than 500,000 square feet of state-of-the-art R&D, Manufacturing and Administration Headquarter buildings to develop, produce, market and support the HondaJet with HondaJet dealers. The challenging spirit upon which Mr. Soichiro Honda founded Honda Motors is still alive today as Honda Aircraft fulfills one of Honda's long-standing dreams to advance human mobility skyward.