The interactive webinar that took place Thursday, May 11, at 11:00 AM CDT is available in a recorded version. The presentation gives an overview of FAA guidance for part 147 distance education programs and options available for learning management systems and live virtual classrooms.
About the presenter: Karen Johnson is an associate professor in the department of aviation technologies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, she is currently working on her Ph.D. in learning systems design and technology where her focus is online applications for the FAA part 147 curriculum.
Members can access the recording for free in the ATEC webinar library.
Expanding Global Fleet Combined with Lack of Qualified Technicians Creating Labor Squeeze for Airline Industry
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Executives from the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) industry are worried about an anticipated shortfall in the number of adequately trained mechanics at a time when the global airline fleet is expanding and modernizing, according to Oliver Wyman’s 2017 MRO survey titled When Growth Outpaces Capacity.
“It is a double whammy. Over the next decade a record number of maintenance technicians will retire, outpacing the total number of new mechanics entering the market,” said Brian Prentice, partner with Oliver Wyman. “At the same time, the global fleet is growing significantly. Additionally, the shortfall is expected to create expertise gaps as the industry finds itself having to service a fleet that will be almost equally divided between older and newer technology aircraft. This is one situation in the US, where the jobs are available, but the people are not.”
According to the survey, 78 percent say it is getting harder to hire mechanics and the tightening labor market is pushing them to rely on overtime and other stop-gap efforts to keep up with market demand.
The aging of the mechanic workforce and anticipated retirements could not come at a worse time for the industry, as it gears up to accommodate the larger fleet. The median age of aviation mechanics in the United States is 51 years old, nine years higher than the median age for the broader US workforce according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, relatively few millennials are looking to train as aviation mechanics. When asked why it was difficult to recruit, 51 percent of survey respondents identified wages and benefits as an obstacle.
Additional survey findings include:
“The industry is facing a variety of challenges and some can be remedied by a combination of improved efficiencies driven by new technology solutions and increased wages to attract new talent,” added Prentice. “However, this may take up to a decade to achieve, leaving the industry at a crossroads in the meantime.”
About the MRO Survey
In its second decade, Oliver Wyman surveys a range of executives from across the aviation industry cross key trends and emerging issues in the MRO sector. Sixty-three percent of this year’s respondents to the annual survey were senior executives — either in C-suite posts or vice president or above, and 85 percent were director level or above. More than half (55%) were located in North America.
About Oliver Wyman
Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 50+ cities across nearly 30 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has about 4,500 professionals around the world who help clients optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMC). For more information, visit www.oliverwyman.com. Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @OliverWyman.
The Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) recently accepted an FAA task to support aviation regulatory reform. The task directs the committee to provide recommendations for the repeal, replacement or modification of existing and planned regulations.
The task was initiated by the administration’s government-wide effort to “enforce the regulatory reform agenda.” The ARAC is expected to submit an initial recommendation report to the FAA by June 1.
Last month an industry/FAA working group finalized its recommended aviation maintenance technician airman certification standard (ACS). The group provided the final recommendation to agency representatives which will utilize it to "board" knowledge test questions and make further refinement.
ATEC members and stakeholders still have the opportunity to review and comment. The working group expects that further adjustments will be made after the test boarding process.
See past member alerts on the ACS for more information about the document and its evolution. The ACS recommendation is available for review here.
AMT Magazine has recently released a new Career Development eNewsletter for students, instructors and established professionals. The bi-monthly newsletter provides the latest news and articles on career development in aircraft maintenance in areas such as technology, education, training and scholarship opportunities.
Follow this link to subscribe and select the E Newsletter Subscribe Button.
Boeing Flight Services will once again provide 24 scholarships for AMT instructors to attend a one-week 787 General Familiarization course at the company’s training facility in Renton, WA, June 26-30, 2017. This course is designed to satisfy the ATA 104 Level I objectives describing basic aircraft measurements and attributes, normal system functions, and major components; a Boeing factory tour in included as is transportation to and from the factory. The course content relates to what AMT educators are teaching their students, so instructors will be able to use what they learn to further inspire students. A tour of the Boeing factory—including transportation to and from the factory—is included in the program. Course objectives include but are not limited to:
For more information and to apply, visit http://northropricefoundation.org/boeing-787-class-scholarship-application-process/.
SALINA — An aviation professor on Kansas State University's Polytechnic Campus is being acknowledged for his work in the classroom with a national educator of the year award.
Andrew Smith, a 13-year veteran of the aviation maintenance management program at Kansas State Polytechnic, has been selected as the 2017 Ivan D. Livi Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year. The honor is presented annually by the Aviation Technician Education Council, or ATEC, to recognize the outstanding achievements of a collegiate professor or instructor in the aviation maintenance technology field. Presented since 1990, Smith will receive his award on April 1 at the organization's annual conference in Seattle.
"Andrew is an incredible resource for ATEC," said Crystal Maguire, executive director of the organization. "As longtime chair of the regulatory committee, he is the go-to person for regulatory compliance questions for instructors and administrators across the country. His approachable personality and willingness to assist, coupled with his knowledge and experience of Federal Aviation Administration certification requirements, are an invaluable asset for the entire aviation maintenance technical school community."
"I love working with students every day and helping them develop into aviation professionals ready to serve and lead, so being recognized with this special award is a true honor," Smith said. "I am thankful to those who nominated me and to the selection committee who chose me out of a pool of deserving candidates."
Before arriving at Kansas State Polytechnic in 2004, Smith was an aviation maintenance instructor for College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri, where he earned a bachelor's degree in aviation science years earlier. He also taught aviation maintenance at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, and was employed by American Airlines, first as an overhaul mechanic working on DC-10, B727-757-767 and MD-80 jet airliners and then as a technical writer in maintenance planning. While at American Airlines, Smith was activated for Operation Desert Storm, supervising squadron personnel who performed maintenance on S-3 Vikings off the USS Nimitz deployed in the Pacific and Middle East regions.
Smith joined the U.S. Navy after high school where he demonstrated his love for aviation after completing basic training. Smith performed maintenance and inspections on T-2 Buckeye and T-39 Sabreliner aircraft. While on assignment in Barbers Point in Hawaii to care for EC-130Q Hercules aircraft, he earned his gold wings as a naval aircrewman. Transitioning to the naval reserves, Smith earned his collar point anchors as chief petty officer while he also pursued an airframe and powerplant certificate and his degree at College of the Ozarks.
"I have always been fascinated by aviation maintenance because it has so much to offer — it's an exciting mix of science-based academics and vintage to cutting-edge technologies, intertwined with safety, ethics and judgment," Smith said about his profession. "Aviation maintenance also continues to be a relevant field for students to pursue because they are highly sought after in the industry year after year. Our program has an outstanding placement record where quality employers continue to reach out to us to hire students even before they graduate."
In addition to teaching, Smith serves as the faculty advisor for Kansas State Polytechnic's Radio Controlled Flying student club — a hobby of building and flying model aircraft that he used to share with his father when he was a boy. Recently, he also has been assisting the campus's Applied Aviation Research Center on research projects involving unmanned aircraft systems.
In total, Smith has more than 35 years of aircraft maintenance experience and has been teaching collegiate aviation for 24 years. Along with his bachelor's degree, he has a Master of Science in aviation safety from the University of Central Missouri. Smith operates his own aviation company and has earned his FAA Inspection Authorization. He is a designated mechanic examiner, a commercial pilot and certified flight instructor, an FAA Safety Team, or FAASTeam, representative and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Airport Support Network representative for the Salina Regional Airport.
ATEC hosted a webinar to give its members an overview of the new partnership with the Talent Solutions Coalition (TSC). Headquartered at the National Center for Aviation Training, the TSC operates as a nation-wide talent supply chain for the aviation industry. Supply chain members include higher education institutions with industry-recognized aviation programs and leading providers of aerospace and aviation technical certifications.
ATEC’s partnership with TSC provides discounted resources to council members looking to expand their workforce development capabilities and deliver more aviation career opportunities—at all levels: managerial, supervisory and technical—to their students. ATEC members receive reduced rates on TSC membership, providing access to the employer-driven talent solution project, and technical and soft-skills curricula.
For more information contact TSC Executive Director Tim Shaver, or download the program overview presentation or listen to the pre-recorded webinar about the partnership.
The Aero Skills Metal Bashers Tour comes to Seattle, Friday March 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm. This is the final competition of Aero Skills inaugural tour and will be held the evening preceding the ATEC Annual Conference at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center.
The competitive event, sponsored by ATEC and CertTEC®, will be the eighth competition of the Metal Bashers Tour, created to raise awareness of aircraft trades opportunities and showcase the skills of aviation technicians. Jay Logie, President of Aircraft Technologies Group, developers of the event, said, “It’s great to have both ATEC and CertTEC® join ATG and Aviation NETWorX in sponsoring the Seattle Aero Skills venue. It is an excellent opportunity for aviation industry partners and the aero trade school community to see first hand and especially for aero trades students and journey people to compete in the Aero Skills ‘Top Gun’ competition.”
Technicians will compete in four skill-testing events highlighting quality, productivity, and teamwork. The 'Top Gun,' ‘Rivet Shoot’, ‘Clean Cut’ and ‘Out the Window’ events, performed on sections of an aircraft structure, require skills to quickly and cleanly carry out fundamental aircraft structure work. The winning performance is judged as the best work combined with the quickest time, measured against specifically rigorous standards and strict specifications from the aerospace industry.
The event is open to the general public, admission is free. All Annual Conference attendees are encouraged to attend.
The Chicago Area Business Aviation Association (CABBA) is now taking applications for its 2017 maintenance scholarship.
Most aircraft maintenance students and/or recent graduates are eligible to apply for four of the six 2017 scholarships (up to nine total awards are available). All aircraft maintenance students are encouraged to apply for any of the scholarships that she or he is eligible for, which could be all four in some cases. The Flight Safety Maintenance Professional Award (valued at $18,000 plus additional travel/lodging allowance) will be awarded to a 2016 or spring 2017 graduate that holds an A&P license.
The CABAA is a grassroots organization formed by business aviation professionals for the purpose of offering our members relevant information, training, and networking experiences to enhance the quality and quantity of business aviation operations in the Chicagoland area.
The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2017. For more information and to apply visit http://www.cabaa.com/cabaa-scholarship.
Headquartered at the National Center for Aviation Training, the Talent Solutions Coalition (TSC) operates as a nation-wide talent supply chain for the aviation industry. Supply chain members include higher education institutions with industry-recognized aviation programs and leading providers of aerospace and aviation technical certifications.
TSC has captured national and industry attention with its innovative business model and approach to helping aviation employers meet talent acquisition needs. Read more about TSC as featured in Inside Higher Education and AMT Magazine.
ATEC’s partnership with TSC will provide discounted resources to council members looking to expand their workforce development capabilities and deliver more aviation career opportunities—at all levels: managerial, supervisory and technical--to their students. Under the auspices of the partnership, ATEC members receive reduced rates on TSC membership, providing access to the employer-driven talent solution project, and technical and soft-skills curricula.
TSC also serves as an industry Center of Excellence to share best practices in talent planning management. TSC leaders will be presenting at the ATEC Annual Conference in Seattle April 1-3. And TSC members will be attending the coalition's Talent Planning Management Forum, March 23-24 in Wichita, KS. Leaders from SpaceTEC, St. Louis Community College, the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Vincennes University, Inside Higher Education, ExpressJet Airlines and the Airlines for America Association will be among featured forum presenters.
An updated version of the Aviation Mechanic General (AMG) Sample Exam is now available on the FAA website.
The FAA does not make all questions in its A&P knowledge test bank available to the public; instead it provides a representative sample, which it periodically revises as detailed in a "What's New" document.
A revised sample test is generally rolled out twice a year. During this particular cycle, only the general sample test was revised. While the agency did not address those changes in its "What's New" document, Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. provides specific updates to sample questions on its Knowledge Exam page.
The Council continues to work through the airman certification standards committee to ensure a documented and transparent process for creating, vetting and revising test bank questions. For more information on that effort, listen in on a recent ATEC webinar summarizing the endeavor.
A focused effort to provide clear and attractive paths from aviation technician programs to the industry would help fill the demand gap for qualified maintenance employees, new survey data reveals.
The survey, conducted by the Aviation Technician Education Council, found that 25% of all graduates from FAA-certified aviation maintenance technician schools (AMTS) do not end up pursuing aviation careers. This means that from the respondent group alone—47 of the 178 FAA-certificated AMTS—roughly 750 graduates in 2015 were lost to other industries.
Further, 40% of graduates don’t sit for the exam for the FAA airframe and powerplant (A&P) license they’ve worked to earn. While some graduates may obtain mechanic certification later, the survey results help quantify the level of workforce bleed plaguing aviation maintenance.
“The loss of qualified technicians to competing industries is a significant concern for airlines, business aviation operators, and aviation maintenance providers,” said Ryan Goertzen, President of ATEC and Chief Aviation and Academic Officer of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. “This survey shows that there is a significant low-hanging-fruit opportunity to help bridge the gap between our industry’s schools and its employers.”
Aviation’s growth is driving demand for more technicians. Boeing’s latest workforce forecast projects that 679,000 additional technicians will be needed in the next 20 years to support the airline fleet alone. More than 110,000 of these will be needed in North America.
While there is no question that the aviation industry is facing a technician shortage, getting a handle on the issue’s scope—the first step in solving the problem—is a challenge. ATEC is leading an effort to more accurately define aviation maintenance jobs and have the updated definitions apply to government classifications. This will help quantify the number of certified technicians versus total aviation maintenance employees, for instance.
ATEC is spearheading several grassroots efforts that link aspiring technicians with employers. The association is drafting guidance to support career-pipeline programs such as dual-enrollment programs with high schools. ATEC also is holding several workforce development and employer-educator networking events at its 2017 annual conference, Apr. 1-3 in Seattle.
Among the ATEC survey’s other notable findings:
“The survey quantifies what we already know, namely that schools are reacting to the needs of company employers, notwithstanding regulatory limitations on what they can teach, and that we need to do some work to ensure students retain the interest that drew them to aviation in the first place,” said Crystal Maguire, ATEC Executive Director. “The council will therefore focus on development and cultivation of education-employer relationships to enhance curriculum, better equip schools and create career paths for future airmen.”
Out of the 178 AMTS in FAA’s database 47 provided complete responses to the survey. Of the schools that responded, 65% were public institutions (in line with the actual demographic—78% of AMTS are public schools). The AMTS community is composed mostly of smaller institutions, with 62% of survey respondents reporting fewer than 50 graduates in 2015. The average graduation rate was 70%.
For more information on the survey, see the online summary or contact ATEC.
About ATEC: ATEC is a partnership of aviation maintenance training schools and employers. The council is dedicated to promoting and supporting technician education through its communications, advocacy programs and networking events.
ATEC hosted a webinar to give its members an overview of the aviation maintenance technician airman certification standard (AMT ACS). The new ACS will provide the infrastructure for the written, oral and practical FAA mechanic tests moving forward. ATEC is taking an active role in its development and is soliciting feedback on the latest version.
The 26-minute webinar is available for download below (the webinar will start at the 30 second mark). The PowerPoint slides are also available here. All are encouraged to listen in to learn about the ACS, it's purpose, implementation, how it will influence the new part 147, and ways to get involved.
Comments to the latest version of the ACS are due to ATEC on Thursday, Feb. 16.
The next iteration of the aviation maintenance technician airman certification standard (ACS) is available for review and comment, download it here.
Member comment is due by Jan. 11.
An FAA and industry working group is working on the new standard for AMT knowledge and skill requirements. The ACS is fundamentally an enhanced version of the practical test standards (PTS), with the addition of knowledge and risk management elements for each subject area. The result is a comprehensive document that outlines what an applicant needs to know, consider, and do in order to pass both the knowledge and practical tests for a mechanic certificate.
See past member alerts on the ACS for more information about the document and its evolution.
As part of the STEM Education Coalition, ATEC briefed the new administration on the pending FAA part 147 rulemaking, asking that it proceed as scheduled, and that the final rule support a competency-based learning system that allows industry to freely meet already-mandated knowledge, skill and experience standards.
The memo, entitled “STEM Education, Good Jobs, and American Prosperity,” was directed to President-Elect Trump’s transition team and outlines a broad range of policies endorsed by the Coalition and makes recommendations for the first one-hundred days of President-Elect Trump’s term.
The full text of the memo can be found here.
The FAA has released draft AC 120-72A, Maintenance Human Factors Training. The proposal provides a compilation of resources to aid human factors training program development and would replace the sixteen-year-old AC 120-72, Maintenance Resource Management Training.
The draft AC incorrectly states that a 2016 change to part 147 requires that aviation maintenance technician school curriculum incorporate human factors training. While a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for part 147 was issued in 2015, a final rule is not expected to publish until summer 2017. The NPRM did include human factors as a required subject area in the list of curriculum topics, but it did not include “a detailed list of human factors topics” as stated in the draft AC.
ATEC will make submit comments to the proposal, which are due Dec. 30.
The Northrop Rice Foundation (NRF) provides financial, equipment, technical book, and tool support to AMT students, instructors, and schools. Awards available in 2017 include:
Scholarships, awards and grants are made possible through industry donations. To support the foundation, and for more information about the application process, visit www.northropricefoundation.org.
AMT Magazine will once again offer ATEC-member school instructors a reduced rate of $89 (regular $119) for attendance at upcoming Inspection Authorization Refresher Training seminars. Member institutions may also send up to four students for FREE. Register here for the following events:
From the desk of ATEC President Ryan Goertzen: I wanted to reach out to the ATEC Community to let you know that Tim Guerrero has resigned his board director position with ATEC. Tim has been instrumental to our organization for many years. He has led the charge pushing the FAA on key initiatives, from human factors to the rulemaking process. Tim played a critical role in the working groups that were formed to address recommendations by the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee in 2008. Tim committed countless hours to ATEC initiatives such as operations specifications development, FAA guidance material rewrites, the fight for distance learning and facilitation of the first-ever FAA course in Oklahoma City for part 147 inspectors. It has been an honor to work with Tim. As an employee of Spartan Education Group I have seen Tim work tirelessly every day for our students. He is a great leader and educator and he will be missed representing our membership on the Board of Directors. Tim will continue his role as an active ATEC member and at Redstone College changing student’s lives every day.
Each year, ATEC's annual conference (April 1-3, 2017 in Seattle) provides an opportunity for the AMTS community to engage on topics important to the future of aviation maintenance education. By submitting and presenting papers, education professionals can share success, workshop ideas and otherwise expand the academic horizons of their peers.
To be considered, submit an abstract by Jan. 1 to email@example.com. More information available at Call for Papers.
FAA and industry have teamed together to create the Airman Certification Standards (ACS). These documents will soon be replacing the Practical Test Standards (PTS) for select certificates and ratings.
This webinar will provide some historical perspective about the ACS and describe how it is used during a practical test specifically with regard to newly-released pilot ACS. Standards for mechanic testing are currently in development, participation in these webinars will therefore give technician educators an idea of what's to come.
The next webinar is scheduled for Tues, Nov 15, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CDT. Registration is available here.
A draft revision to Designee Management Policy, Order 8000.95, was updated Sept. 14, 2016. Comments are due Oct. 13.
This revision adds language to support implementation of the new Designee Management System (DMS) for Designated Mechanic Examiners. ATEC is in the process of reviewing the draft Order and will reassert its position that the agency not impart undue qualification restrictions that disqualifies many current DME and otherwise excellent applicants, without increasing safety.
Recognize an outstanding aviation maintenance technology student or instructor.
ATEC is now accepting nominations for the James Reardon Aviation Maintenance Technician Student of the Year Award and the Ivan D. Livi Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year Award. The awards recognize individuals who - through academic excellence, community involvement or professional skill - makes a direct, positive impact on their associates, school or community.
Award winners will be recognized at the ATEC annual conference in Seattle, being held April 1-3, 2017. Nominations are due January 31, 2017.
As part of the Council's annual fly-in, aviation maintenance technician school (AMTS) representatives met with FAA officials to discuss several regulatory matters of importance to ATEC's membership. Agenda topics included the agency's reluctance to support AMTS-high school partnerships, the shortage designated mechanic examiners and the need for a part 147 regulation that would allow AMTS to develop competency-based programs.
While the agency could not discuss the pending part 147 regulation given ex parte limitations (a summary of the meeting will be provided to the docket for public inspection), officials listened as attendees spoke on the benefits of a competency-base rule that would provide AMTS the opportunity to meet agency testing standards free from prescriptive requirements (seat time, subject requirements, etc.).
Participants pointed out that competency-based systems are widely-supported by the education community including the Department of Education, and are proven to provide efficient and effective educational programs. Removing prescriptive requirements from the proposed rule would also be in line with the agency’s efforts to implement risk-based oversight. That is, given the low-risk associated with AMTS, FAA resources currently utilized to enforce regulatory requirements such as grading systems, seat time, availability of missed material, etc., could be better utilized in higher risk areas. Further, AMTS operations and the manner in which it educates its students are better overseen by Department of Education and accreditors.
Industry representatives also addressed the agency's concern in the local inspector’s ability to enforce a competency-based rule and measure the effectiveness of its program. AMTS representatives pointed out that the current rule does not provide the framework to measure program effectiveness (i.e., inspector checklists are focused on attendance records and grading policies), and that the AMTS “effectiveness” would ultimately be measured through the mechanic test, which the FAA controls. Ultimately, the agency will only issue a mechanic certificate to those applicants that possess the requisite skill and knowledge, as provided for in the written, oral and practical tests.
Industry representatives also discussed the development of new airman certification standards (ACS) and how those standards should be utilized in the final rule. Once the ACS is developed, the standards could be incorporated into an AMTS operations specifications, to include specific objectives and teaching levels as needed. That way the AMTS would be “required” (through op specs) to teach those items provided for in the mechanic test.
In closing, industry asked the agency to duly consider the benefits of allowing AMTS to implement modern educational systems that other industries have long utilized. They asked agency representatives to permit programs that transition away from seat time in favor of a structure that creates flexibility, and allows students to progress as they demonstrate mastery of subject matter, regardless of time, place, or pace of learning. This type of rule would encourage free-flow of A&P mechanic applicants to an industry that desperately needs a competent and qualified workforce to support continued operations.
ATEC will continue to engage on this topic in anticipation of the new part 147, expected to be issued in the summer of 2017.
ATEC Member Alerts
Stay tuned for updates on everything ATEC members need to know as well as ways that you can help the council and the AMTS community.