Sowela’s testing center ready for takeoff as FAA approves it as exam site

Published 1:32 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

Special to the American Press
Sowela Technical Community College’s Testing Center was recently approved to offer Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exams. It’s the only FAA-approved testing site in Southwest Louisiana. The additional testing options allow students to take FAA exams on campus, significantly reducing the need for travel and associated costs.
“Sowela prides itself on being a very student-focused institution and we are constantly eliminating barriers that prevent our students from achieving success,” said Sowela Chancellor Neil Aspinwall. “One of those barriers was the inability of our Aviation students to take their FAA certification exams here on campus. With the recent approval from FAA to allow of our testing center to administer the Airframe and Powerplant exams, our students can now earn their A&P certifications without having to travel out of town or state to sit for the exams.”
Sowela’s students are required to sit for the Aviation Maintenance General, Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) exams as part of their coursework. In the past, these students would have to travel hours away, but they will now be able to take the exams on the same campus as their classes at the College’s Main Campus in Lake Charles.
“This event marks one of many enhancements to our program aimed at reducing the costs and barriers associated with completing FAA certifications,” said Dean of the School of Transportation and Applied Technology Robert Null. “We are dedicated to providing our students with the resources and support they need to succeed in their aviation careers.”
Sowela’s two-year Aviation Maintenance program provides hands-on learning with practical application of aircraft maintenance training. Most recently, the program received a massive airborne ground surveillance aircraft, the $73 million E-8A Joint Stars Jet, from the U.S. Air Force. Sowela is the only program in Louisiana to offer students a military-modified large-body turbofan aircraft for hands-on instruction.
Sowela is enrolling for the Fall 2024 semester, including in the growing Aviation Maintenance program. Scholarships and financial aid are available for those who qualify. For more information or to apply, visit or email

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