These trades tournaments, developed by ATG, are an amazing opportunity for raising awareness and planting seeds in potential technicians in their early years. The ASTs will create excitement, raise awareness & attract students to the aircraft college and trade schools, and renew interest in researching aero trades as a rewarding career. The industry is growing rapidly – the future is bright, however there is an issue of serious concern – the Skills Gap Crisis. Younger individuals are not being attracted to the trades in sufficient numbers to replace those techs retiring from the industry. Through open invitations to everyone including grade schools and other potential students to attend and observe the contests, these tournaments will be a catalyst to stimulate that much needed interest and lead to increased student enrollment. Our long-term strategy is to create a synergy and network across the world-wide industry through the AST program, creating other opportunities, efficiencies and reliabilities for everyone.

The tournament, for technicians, apprentices and journeypersons, will offer an opportunity to demonstrate their skills individually and against one another fabricating aircraft parts in a competition format. The event will bring together MROs, trades people, museums and other interested individuals along with representatives from colleges, trades schools as well as interested and invited public and students. Entrants will be competing on a level playing field with their own tools where the successful winner for each location will be awarded a trip to the National Finals. There they will compete head-to-head with the winners from the eight different regions for grand prize money in the thousands.

The AST – Aero Skills Tournament

The Process

The tournament competitor will make two trips to the designated college or school location over the course of the event week (Wednesday to Saturday for example) – the first visit is to sign-up and register and to fabricate their aircraft parts. The second visit is to assemble the parts on the build day in the timed competition (Saturday or Sunday).

Sign-up, Registration & Preregistration

  • The tech completes the registration and waiver forms (approximately 20 minutes)
  • Registration may be in person any event week day or evening – Wednesday to Saturday, at the college or school location indicated in the promotional material
  • Once approved they are issued drawings and materials for the parts build
  • Preregistration may be done on-line with approval being returned on-line. The tech to indicate which day they plan to visit the event location in order to receive their drawings and materials
  • This preregistration is preferred by the organizers as it allows them to know how many to expect for each day
  • Once the preregistration is approved they will visit the site on the date they indicated and are issued their drawings and materials

The Fabrication or ‘Fab’ Session (lay out, forming, fitting and prepping)

  • On the day or evening selected for their visit, the tech fabricates their parts in preparation for the build competition (Saturday or Sunday). Being able to select the date they visit the site allows the fab process to be completed and at a time convenient for the competitor prior to the build day.
  • The tech lays out the job from the drawings, forms the parts, fits them together, drills holes and prepares for assembly – time is recorded, parts inspected and judged; Approximately 2 to 3 hrs
  • The inspection of the fabricated parts by the tournament judge(s) will follow, prior to the parts being stored for security until competition day.

The Build

  • The build event, the competitor’s second visit to the event site, takes place on that Saturday or Sunday – scheduled as determined by each college. A weekday or evening event is their option.
  • The competition and the show begins – 4 to 6 techs at a time compete against each other, assembling the parts and attaching all the fasteners to standard practices. Between these times groups of 4 or 6 is when the opportunity for the college to promote itself with videos and short speeches.
  • Although the competitors square off against each other, this final round is a speed competition and is timed against the clock. One winner would be announced for this inaugural year but in the future there could be pairs and teams as well.
  • This is also the spectator portion of the competition – family, friends, interested students and others are welcome and invited to attend.

We request the local technicians to attend so they too would compete in the final Build component on the Saturday or Sunday Final (creating a local hero and mentor possibly. If they are working away from where the tournament is and are traveling to the tournament site for weekend, they could register and fab early on the Saturday and build with everyone else for the Finals. Although it would be nice to have a local technician returning to compete, any extra arrangements are at the discretion of the college.


Each competitor is requested to bring their own tools required to perform the tasks outlined above and specified in the promotional material. ATG may provide a minimum tool list; A very basic list of tools for the fundamental work, however the tech can bring other tools as they see fit that may expedite their work. Do note that there will also be a list of tools that may not be used as not everyone has them and they are too advantageous QD drill bits, layout fans, rivet squeezers to name a few.


The competition is based on Two Parts of the Tournament: the Fabrication session and the Build session – so two separate inspection sessions will take place where the parts assemblies will be judged based on standard practices quality of work and by time to complete the project.

After the Fabrication and ensuing inspection component the parts will be locked up at the college or school until Tournament day. On tournament day each set of parts get staged to the tech at show time for the final competition.


The National Competition Finals, the same three step format will be used. In this case, for the Finals, we will know who each of the winning competitors from each location are. The fabrication and preparation will be done the first day and the build competition will take place the scheduled day or evening – a competitive event format in an open to the public venue.


The competitions are driven by the aviation industry and it’s community! Register now for a tournament near you! 


Get in touch with us if you have any questions, concerns, or are interested in volunteering at one of our events.