On March 20, ATEC members will crisscross the nation’s capital to meet with congressional leaders on issues impacting aviation maintenance technician education. Get prepared by scheduling meetings with your senators and representatives. ATEC will tell you how.
To ensure you get the most out of your time in Washington, ATEC hosted a webinar to help you prepare. The previously-recorded live webinar provides instructions on scheduling meetings with members of Congress and a brief overview of the top issues facing aviation technician education.
Listen to the recorded webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7713564839695955969.
The revised general mechanic sample exam is available at www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_questions/.
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 (the Feb. 8, 2018 What's New document is available here).
According to the most recent What's New, no changes were made to the test bank. However, based on Airman Certification Standards (ACS) working group activities, and edits made to the sample exam (e.g., the addition of a new helicopter aerodynamics question, a new topic not previously tested), ATEC has asked that the agency revise its What's New to ensure proper communication of these changes.
Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. (ASA) publishes specific changes made to sample exams for each test roll. That analysis can be found at www.asa2fly.com/FAA-Knowledge-Exams-W22C162.aspx.
The council continues to work through the ACS working group to ensure a documented and transparent process for creating, vetting and revising test bank questions. The FAA is currently utilizing the ACS to review and edit the test bank. ATEC Treasurer and Embry-Riddle University Aviation Maintenance Science Department Chairman Chuck Horning is the industry representative on that review board.
Members are encouraged to provide feedback on student experiences while the test bank undergoes revision to coincide with the new ACS. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published new career projections in its Occupational Outlook Handbook. The biennial publication provides earnings reports, growth projections and replacement needs for hundreds of occupations, including “Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians.”
(It is important to note that the BLS data does not distinguish between certificated and noncertificated personnel. A request by ATEC and other trade organizations to make the distinction went unheeded in the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification revision.)
The latest handbook adopts new methodologies for calculating replacement needs (i.e., how many jobs will need filling due to retirement). Under the new approach, the projected number of openings for new aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians increased from 3,300 to 12,400 per year. And anticipated growth jumped from 1% to 5%—in line with the national average.
The change has had positive ripple effects. The U.S. Labor Department-sponsored resource MyNextMove.org historically dubbed aviation mechanic and technician jobs as “less likely in the future.” The new numbers upgrades the aviation maintenance career outlook from “below average” to “average.” (“Bright outlook” designations require 10% projected growth, or 100,000 or more job openings over the next ten years.)
BLS Division Chief Michael Wolf says that the new methodology better captures today’s dynamic workforce, “The once-traditional career path of entering an occupation at a young age and working until retirement in that same occupation is no longer the norm for American workers. Now, it’s common for workers to work in a number of occupations throughout the course of their career.” According to Wolf, “The new separations methodology captures these dynamics and allows us to better produce employment projections for workers and businesses to plan for their futures.”
While many would insist that careers in aviation maintenance have a better than “average” outlook, the boost in projection numbers could mean better funding for educational institutions that rely on scholarship and grant distributions that are often times prioritized according to BLS data. Programs producing candidates for “growing industries” are—not surprisingly—given precedence over occupations with less anticipated growth.
While industry could certainly use a bigger boost given growing workforce concerns, the numbers are certainly moving in the right direction.
Want to learn more? Come to the annual conference and hear directly from BLS Division Chief Michael Wolf on the new numbers.
Early in 2017, the ATEC Board voted to explore options for a new council logo. After months of discussion, thought and persistence, the council is happy to present its new emblem.
“Given how much ATEC has grown in the last few years, and the aggressive plan it has to expand its footprint, we thought it was time to reconsider the nearly sixty-year-old mark,” said ATEC President and Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology Vice President of International Development Ryan Goertzen. “The initial goal was to maintain familiarity, while adding more modern elements.”
A special task force was formed to sketch out a new concept that was representative of ATEC’s mission: to promote and support aviation maintenance technician education.
“We aimed to create something that represents all sectors of aviation, and all the opportunities available to future aviators,” said ATEC Director and AMT Magazine Chief Editor Ron Donner. “The paper airplane takes us back to where it all began, it is synonymous with education.”
The team chose to move forward with the paper plane concept, agreeing that the icon best captured the essence of aviation in education: imagination. “It is familiar, simple, romantic and the foundation of innovation, said ATEC Director and AIM Director of Education Debbie Wiggins. “The flight path is illustrative of where we’ve been, and where we’re going.”
“With the new look, ATEC ushers in the next era. The future of the industry depends on the upbringing of the next generation, and ATEC is proud to be part of the equation,” said Goertzen. “I am truly proud of this team and thankful for their dedication and commitment to ATEC to make this project a reality and one that will last many more generations to come.”
Members are invited to download the new ATEC member badge, for display on their website and marketing materials.
The Aerospace Maintenance Council hosts annually the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC). This year’s event will take place on April 10-11, 2018 in Orlando.
The event showcases the talent required of aviation maintenance technicians to maintain aircraft and spacecraft in safe, airworthy condition. To further support of our future mechanics, AMC is proud to provide a scholarship in recognition of Phoebe Jane Fairgrave Omlie, the first female to receive an FAA aircraft mechanic’s license in 1927. Phoebe helped show the world that women were just as capable as men in repairing and maintaining aircraft.
Awards in the amount of $500-$2500 may be used towards the purchase of tools, books and/or school tuition. To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled in a Federal Aviation Administration part 147 program, and registered to compete in the 2018 AMC.
The award is supported through the generous contributions of AMC participants and sponsors. Contributions to the scholarship fund are welcome; donors will have the opportunity to present the scholarship during the AMC award ceremony on April 12 in Orlando.
For more information and to apply, visit www.aerospacecompetition.com/scholarship. Applications are due March 15, 2018.
Washington, DC — The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced today that it is now taking applications for its prestigious Edward W. Stimpson “Aviation Excellence” Award, which comes with a $2,000 cash prize.
The award is named for founder and past President of GAMA, Edward W. Stimpson. Given annually, the scholarship goes to a graduating high school senior who has been accepted to and will be enrolled in an aviation degree core program at a university or college of his or her choice. Applicants are judged on the basis of academic skills, extracurricular activities and an essay on what aviation means to the student and how he or she plans to pursue an aviation career.
Applications are due by April 13, 2018. For more information, or to access the application, please visit the GAMA website.
For additional information, please contact Sarah McCann, GAMA Director of Communications, at +1 (202) 637-1375 or email@example.com.
Excerpts from the 2018 edition's Preface:
The Aviation Maintenance Technician Handbook–General (FAA-H-8083-30A) was developed as one of a series of three handbooks for persons preparing for mechanic certification with airframe or powerplant ratings, or both. It is intended that this handbook will provide basic information on principles, fundamentals, and technical procedures in the subject matter areas common to both the airframe and powerplant ratings.
The handbook is designed to aid students enrolled in a formal course of instruction preparing for FAA certification as a maintenance technician as well as for current technicians who wish to improve their knowledge.
New to this volume is a section addressing how successful aviation maintenance technicians incorporate knowledge and awareness of ethics, professionalism and human factors in the field.
The companion handbooks to Aviation Maintenance Technician Handbook–General (FAA-H-8083-30A) are the Aviation Maintenance Technician Handbook–Airframe (FAA-H-8083-31 (as amended)), and the Aviation Maintenance Technician Handbook–Powerplant (FAA-H-8083-32 (as amended)).
This handbook is available for download, in pdf format, from www.faa.gov. Please visit this website for the latest version of all FAA handbooks.
Comments regarding this publication should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northrop Rice Foundation are starting another year’s program of distributing financial, equipment, technical book, and tool support to AMT students, instructors, and part 147 schools. The program will also provide support to U.S. military veterans enrolled in AMT training programs or working to convert their experience into an A&P license, and to students enrolled in Avionics training programs. Here is a summary of the opportunities:
Institutions must be members of NRF to apply. Visit northropricefoundation.org/ for more information.
Contact: Jay Johnson, National Secretary/Treasurer
Phone: (720) 744-6632
December 27, 2017 – The AMFA National Executive Council (NEC) is pleased to announce that we are currently accepting applications for two AMFA Scholarships for 2018. Scholarships will be $2500, payable to each recipient’s institution of higher learning.
Last year’s scholarships were awarded to students of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.
“Assisting in the education of the next generation of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) is one of AMFA’s ambitions,” said Bret Oestreich, AMFA National Director. “We are delighted to be offering this opportunity as costs have risen to obtain a FAA Airframe & Powerplant license.”
Those who apply must be currently enrolled in a school or university to gain their Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license, be a US Citizen, and submit a 500-word essay about the difference between a craft specific union and an industrial union. Applications and further information can be found on the Education page of the AMFA National website.
Founded in 1962, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is a craft oriented, independent aviation union. AMFA represents licensed and unlicensed technicians and related employees actively involved in the aviation industry. These technician and related employees work directly on aircraft and/or components, support equipment, and facilities. AMFA is committed to elevating the professional standing of technicians and to achieving progressive improvements in wages, benefits, and working conditions of the skilled craftsmen and women it represents. For more information about AMFA visit www.amfanational.org.
Filling Technical School Capacity; Directing Graduates To Aviation Careers Keys to Filling Growing Aviation Maintenance Technician Gap, Report Finds
JENKS, Oklahoma – Technical schools have ample capacity to help fill a widening gap between the demand for qualified maintenance employees and the number of new employees joining the industry, while increasing the number of females and guiding more newly trained candidates to aviation jobs offer two strategies for boosting the mechanic population. Those are the key takeaways from a new report examining the aviation maintenance technician (AMT) pipeline.
The report, based on data collected by Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), found that new entrants make up 2% of the AMT population annually, while 30% of the workforce is at or near retirement age. In the U.S., FAA-certified Aviation Maintenance Technician schools (AMTS) produce about 60% of new mechanics, with the military and on-the-job training accounting for the rest. As of mid-November, the aggregate enrollment at all AMTs was about 17,800 students, but their capacity is nearly 34,300.
“The need for new mechanics is steadily rising,” said Crystal Maguire, ATEC executive director. “Increasing enrollment should be a major focus of both the schools and the companies that rely on new mechanics to help support their operations.”
One low-hanging fruit: attracting more female candidates. The FAA airman database includes 286,000 certificated mechanics. Females make up 2.3% of the certificate mechanic workforce, up from 1.7% in 2001.
While filling the pipeline is important, results from an ATEC survey conducted as part of its research reiterates the need for aviation to retain the graduates AMTS schools produce. AMTS respondents estimate that 20% of graduates pursue careers outside of aviation, and only 60% elect to take the FAA test for mechanic certification.
AMTS and industry recognize these challenges, and are better defining career paths for students through innovative partnerships. When asked about formal cooperative agreements with employers, 87% of AMTS respondents said they had relationships with industry companies, with repair station partnerships leading the way.
“Connections between schools and employers in their regions are among the most promising tactics for developing sustainable aviation maintenance workforce-development pipelines, and ATEC continues to support them in a number of ways,” said ATEC President and Spartan College of Aeronautics & Technology Vice President of Business Development and Aviation Advisor Ryan Goertzen. “These collaborative partnerships are win-win: they help employers staff key positions, and serve as powerful recruitment tools for schools looking to boost enrollment.”
ATEC leads several grassroots efforts that connect aspiring technicians with employers. It has launched a series of networking events at its annual conference, and is supporting the Talent Solution Coalition, which connects schools and employers in specific workforce-development programs.
Other notable findings provided in the report:
Download the Pipeline Report at http://www.atec-amt.org/2017-survey.html.
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. To learn more, visit http://www.atec-amt.org/.
Aviation maintenance faculty at Southern Illinois University and Middle Tennessee State University are conducting research to support the collective use of online course delivery and other computer-based training.
To aid the study, researches are surveying part 147 program instructors. Results will be presented at the 2018 ATEC Annual Conference.
For questions, contact Karen Johnson at Southern Illinois University Carbondale or Daniel Siao at Middle Tennessee State University.
The Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Airman Certification Standards (ACS) working group is commenting on the draft Airframe Handbook (FAA-H-8083-31A), expected to publish September 2018.
While the FAA did not distribute the handbook for public comment, members are invited to provide feedback through ATEC for consideration by the working group.
Draft Airframe Handbook, Volume I is available here.
Draft Airframe Handbook, Volume II is available here.
Comments are due to email@example.com by January 20.
Update: The following post was published in September 2017. As of December 2017, the FAA has not yet issued the expected supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking for part 147. Agency officials have stated that the rulemaking is still in progress and is expected to publish "soon."
The aviation maintenance technician school docket was recently revised to include a second NPRM in its regulatory plan timetable. According to the revision, a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) will be published in October 2017.
An SNPRM is generally issued when a proposed rule has been substantially changed from the original notice of proposed rulemaking. The supplemental notice advises the public of the revised proposal and provides an opportunity for additional comment.
Given developments with Airman Certification Standards since the original NPRM was issued, and strong comments by ATEC and other industry groups calling for a less prescriptive rule with opportunity for competency-based training systems, the council is optimistic that the revised proposal will provide a better framework for aviation maintenance school programs.
While the additional step will likely delay promulgation, ATEC is confident that another round of review and comment will help ensure the next iteration of part 147 will last the test of time. Stay tuned.
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 Washington DC, being held March 17-20. Nominations are due January 31.
FAA Course FAA21000113 reviews the approval process and oversight responsibilities for aviation maintenance technician schools certificated under 14 CFR part 147. As of last year, all aviation safety inspectors with oversight responsibilities are required to attend.
The FAA has offered industry one seat in each of the eleven scheduled courses. The three-day course is held at the FAA academy in Oklahoma City, the registration fee is $375. The course description, required prerequisites and dates are available at https://www.academy.jccbi.gov/catalog/ (search for course FAA21000113).
The opportunity is available on a first come, first served basis. Reserve your seat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) is conducting a survey of US-based educational institutions with aviation maintenance technical programs. As of Nov. 15, 32% of all AMTS have participated. The original deadline of Nov. 3 was extended to ensure all schools have the opportunity to submit a response.
The purpose of the survey is to assess key trends in aviation maintenance education, gather demographics of the entering workforce, support industry recruitment programs and initiatives, and guide future association activities and priorities.
The survey was delivered to the primary contact at each institution, schools are asked to make one submission per location. For those institutions with multiple campuses, survey response requests were sent to the primary contact at each location. If your school did not receive an invitation to participate or would like to confirm your school's primary contact, please email ATEC.
Results will be reported in the aggregate (individual responses are confidential and will not be published). All respondents will receive an advance copy of aggregate results once they are compiled and participating schools will be listed in the final survey report.
Since data from various sources may be required to complete the survey, respondents are advised to collect information before beginning an electronic submission. To aid those efforts, a PDF version of the questionnaire is available here.
ACS Working Group Makes Formal Recommendation to Align Part 147 with New Mechanic Knowledge and Skill Standards
A June 28, 2017 letter was formally presented at a recent Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) meeting, recommending that the FAA ensure part 147 is properly aligned with new airman certification standards.
The recommendation was initiated by the ACS working group, which warned against creating training standards in part 147. The group argues that the ACS should set the minimum knowledge and skill requirements for mechanic certification, as provided for in part 65. Part 147 has essentially set the standard through its curriculum requirements, which is misplaced.
The working group communicated these sentiments to AFS-350 through a formal recommendation asking that it 1) revise part 65 to provide the baseline standard for mechanic knowledge and skill requirements, 2) remove any reference to curriculum requirements or subject areas from part 147, 3) reference the AMT ACS in AMTS operations specifications to ensure that training and testing are directly correlated and 4) utilize the ARAC Airman Certification System Working Group as the driver for changes to training requirements.
A new FAA part 147 is expected to provide opportunities for competency-based aviation mechanic programs. Learn more about the method of education, its origins in aviation, and some of its advantages and potential pitfalls. This webinar, and all other previously-recorded webinars, is available free of charge to members.
About the Presenter:
Dr. Suzanne Kearns is an aviation academic that researches and teaches aspects of international aviation, human factors, safety management, and training methodologies. She is past-president of the University Aviation Association and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
Dr. Kearns has authored many articles and four books including "Canadian Aviation" published September 2009, "e-Learning in Aviation" published in 2010, (co-author) of "Competency-Based Education in Aviation: Exploring Alternate Training Pathways" published 2016, and a forthcoming introductory textbook on "Fundamentals of International Aviation" coming 2018.
Cincinnati, OH — Winning a scholarship gets you access to once in a lifetime opportunities with some of the most sought-after companies in aviation. AWAM Scholarships provide excellent educational opportunities that will increase your credentials, and further develop your skills. For students, scholarship funds will help to upgrade your tool box, pay your way through college and attend valuable networking events. All Scholarships will be awarded March 24th at the AWAM Scholarship Breakfast during the 2018 WAI conference in Reno, NV. The application deadline is November 1, 2017.
This year AWAM is offering 49 Scholarships totaling over $185,000 for students and professionals in the field of Aviation Maintenance. Scholarships include: engine maintenance training from Pratt & Whitney, Safran, and Continental; Aircraft specific training from Bombardier, Southwest, JetBlue, UPS and FedEx; composite repair training from Abaris; AET training from Flamingo Air, Principles of Troubleshooting courses from Delta, and an Inspection Authorization course from Bakers School of Aeronautics. Other scholarships include tools, conference attendance, money for college, and A&P testing including the Oral and Practical. AWAM membership is required to apply, and some scholarships do have gender restrictions as stated in the requirements.
AWAM formed for the purpose of championing women's professional growth in the aviation maintenance field by providing information sharing, networking, education, fostering a sense of community, and increasing public awareness of women in the industry. AWAM also assists students with career counseling and mentoring support. AWAM scholarships assist the seasoned mechanic in the advancement of their career by offering industry specific training courses. Many fortune 500 aviation companies gain top notch employees through AWAM. AWAM is a nonprofit organization and an industry leader in supporting diversity. For additional information Visit www.awam.org/scholarships.
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch made formal inquiry into the status of the anticipated revised proposal for 14 CFR part 147, the regulation governing curriculum requirements for aviation maintenance technician schools.
In addition to the update, Sen. Hatch highlighted the need for a rule that provides more flexibility:
"As you may know, Utah schools are home to many aviation education programs, including those for aviation maintenance technicians. I have repeatedly heard from constituents who wish to have updated, less burdensome regulations for these programs. I share in their concerns that the rule is in major need of an update to keep up with the expanding global aviation sector and modernized aircraft."
The FAA has stated than an SNPRM will be issued in October 2017.
Like many of its members, the council starts budget planning in the summer months. Rates for next year's membership and events are set in advance to ensure members can plan for their participation. Please consider budgeting for the following line items:
Congressman Gus Bilirakis, representative of Florida's 12th District, joined his distinguished colleagues asking for an update on promulgation of new regulations governing aviation maintenance technician schools.
In his request, Rep. Bilirakis stated, "I am encouraged to see the FAA recognize the need to modernize and reorganize these important regulations in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice No. 15-10) and I believe the FAA should focus efforts to complete the rulemaking process efficiently."
Bilirakis joins Reps. Lamar Smith (TX), Tom Rice (SC) and Jim Bridenstine (OK) in their call for FAA action on part 147. In a Feb. 12, 2016 response to the Rice/Bridenstine letter, Administrator Huerta stated that "the part 147 rulemaking is among the highest priorities for the FAA."
The Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association supports those that aspire to begin or enhance a career in aviation through its RACCA Aviation Scholarship. The purpose of the award is to promote aviation careers and increase awareness of opportunities in the air cargo industry.
Two $750 awards are available to students pursuing a career in aviation as a pilot or aircraft mechanic. For more information and to apply, visit www.raccaonline.org.
In response to a wealth of feedback received at the last annual conference, the council is excited to announce a new focus for the ATEC Journal that will widen its breadth and provide more relevant and useful content to its readers. While the Journal will continue to welcome scholarly submissions on any issue relevant to aviation maintenance education, curriculum, and pedagogy, ATEC is specifically calling for papers that support the council’s regulatory and legislative agenda, and generates content for online webinars and annual conference sessions.
A new sequence of events will follow spring and fall publication. Authors will be offered the opportunity to present their research via an ATEC webinar and thereafter be considered for live presentations at the next annual ATEC conference. Our goal is for the Journal and the conference to complement each other, and better serve the ATEC community.
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to--
Professionals from all segments of the aviation maintenance industry, members and non-members alike, are invited to submit a paper for publication. The submission deadline for the fall issue is Oct. 1. For more information and to submit a paper, visit http://www.atec-amt.org/the-journal.html.
Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21), at ATEC and member Hallmark University's prodding, sent a congressional inquiry asking for an update on the Federal Aviation Administration's rulemaking efforts for part 147, the regulation that governs operations and curriculum requirements for aviation maintenance technician schools.
In his letter, Rep. Smith states: "Part 147 is long overdue for modernization. Schools certificate under the current regulation are mandated by law to teach skills that do not add to the preparation of students pursuing high-tech aviation jobs. Any further delays in modernization will detrimentally affect students and industry." The congressman goes on to request that the agency respond with an expected promulgation date.
This is the second such inquiry made on behalf of the aviation community. Last February, Representatives Tom Rice (S.C.) and Jim Bridenstine (Okla.) sent a letter asking the FAA to make the rulemaking its highest priority. An FAA response stated that was indeed the case, and that the agency is committed to "delivering regulation that encompasses new technology and remains flexible to grow and adapt with the industry."
Update: On Aug. 29, 2017, the FAA responded to Smith's inquiry, stating that "several commentators suggested expanding the scope of [the] proposal to allow for competency-based training and satellite facilities... Because these two topics were not proposed in the NPRM, the FAA is required by law to publish a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) seeking public comment. We expect the SNPRM to be ready for publication later this fall, along with a draft Advisory Circular 147-3... The FAA is aware of the importance of the AMTS rule and will make every effort to expedite its issuance."
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.