The 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the aviation workforce of the future, including the current and future supply of aircraft mechanics. In a report published on May 17, 2023 (GAO-23-105571), GAO found that while the number of newly certificated mechanics grew in recent years, it could not make any concrete conclusions about the suspected shortage of aircraft mechanics.
"The supply of individuals with new mechanic certificates grew from 2017 through 2022. The total pool of mechanic certificates also increased; however, these data provide limited information about the supply of aircraft mechanics, as the number of certificate holders who have left the industry since 2017 is unknown," said the report. "Additionally, available data provide limited information on the extent of demand for aircraft mechanics."
The report went on to say that despite the lack of information, aviation stakeholders interviewed reported challenges maintaining sufficient numbers of mechanics. Those same interviewees reported increased wages--a vital metric evidencing a talent shortage--an indicator that is not yet replicated in Bureau of Labor Statistics' labor market data.
Find the full report and links to previous GAO reports on aviation maintenance workforce on ATEC's Workforce Data landing page.
One of the biggest hurdles keeping aviation technician school graduates from earning certification is access to FAA-designated examiners--and the issue is only getting more challenging.
The most recent ATEC Pipeline Report showed 40% of graduates do not take the exam necessary to receive FAA mechanic certification. That's up 10% from just a few years ago.
The issue, which remains one of the council's top regulatory priorities, is on the FAA's radar. The agency plans to expand its Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program to include delegated examiners, but progress has been slow. In early May, the council wrote to FAA Acting Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety David Boulter to reiterate the issue's importance to the aviation maintenance community--and the need to act fast.
"Five years ago, the agency called a meeting with industry stakeholders to discuss a planned expansion to the ODA program that would allow air agency certificate holders (including part 147 schools) to manage their own testing delegates, greatly expanding capacity to meet student testing demand," ATEC wrote. "Since then, industry has eagerly awaited the welcomed change; unfortunately, the policy approval process has stalled while testing capacity challenges have grown worse."
The FAA's plan is to revise the Airman Certification ODA Order (8100.15) to include examiners. But a timeline provided several years ago is slipping. ATEC's letter asks for an updated schedule and urges "expeditious expansion" of the ODA program "to include examiner delegations."
Read the full letter here.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Design Challenge took flight on April 1 with an extended enrollment period.
Students in grades K-12 get to leverage their Microsoft Minecraft skills to design virtual airports. The challenge provides an engaging and relevant way to connect students from across the globe to the aerospace industry and STEM careers.
“We need to continue to reach out to youth in their areas of interest,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen. “The Airport Design Challenges does this by combining gaming and aviation to develop our leaders of tomorrow.”
Students will work together in small teams to learn about their local airports, compete in developmental tasks, and how to plan for innovative growth. More than 150 FAA employees will help facilitate the challenge by assessing the students’ progress and providing them with valuable feedback. Students are encouraged to form a team of up to 5 members, and or they may also participate individually.
The FAA encourages both U.S. and international students to participate in this virtual event. Last year, approximately 800 students took part. Check out their designs from last year’s Airport Design Challenge, learn more, and register here!
Amendment 2 to the NASA ARMD Research Opportunities in Aeronautics (ROA) 2023 NRA has been posted on the NSPIRES web site.
In a continued effort to develop the new air transportation ecosystem, NASA Aeronautics will focus on new forms of aircraft, as well as the wider system in which these aircraft will operate. Aviation Maintenance, and the development of the workforce for it, are imperative to the future of air transportation.
Research proposals are being sought to address key maintenance and training challenges facing the next-generation of air transportation. Proposing organizations must be an accredited, degree-granting U.S. college or university. Funding for granted proposals is up to $300,000/year for a duration of two years and is expected to begin Fall 2023.
Notices of Intent (NOIs) are encouraged, although not required, to be submitted by April 21, 2023.
An Applicant’s Workshop will be held on Wednesday April 26, 2023; 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET. The meeting link will be posted on NSPIRES.
Proposals are due May 31, 2023, 5:00 p.m. ET.
Visit NSPIRES for more detailed information regarding Amendment 2.
Few things are more important to the council than helping get more prospects through the mechanic pipeline and into jobs. For lawmakers, ensuring our military veterans have ample opportunities to settle into stable, rewarding careers post-service has been a top priority for decades.
Despite these seemingly complementary priorities, ATEC's Pipeline Report shows that civil aviation is capturing less than 10 percent of veterans with at least some aviation maintenance experience.
The primary hurdle? Complex regulatory certification requirements that put undue burden on veterans with valuable experience but no clear path to civilian certification.
This is why the council and several other industry groups are calling on Congress to help construct a better path for qualified, military-trained aviation maintenance technicians to earn their FAA certifications and pursue civil aviation maintenance jobs. Often, competent, skilled technicians trained during their military service lack the breadth and scope of experience required to obtain FAA sign off to test. Those turned away from a local FAA office must enroll in an AMTS school or obtain the 18 months of experience—a bridge too far for many. Unlike military pilots, who have a certification standard designed specifically to assess qualifications required to transition to the airline pilot world, military technicians have no such streamlined pathway. As a result, many veterans take tests and pay fees as if they never spent a day learning their trade in the military, if they enter the civilian industry at all.
A coalition of industry trade groups including ATEC, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association, the Aerospace Industries Association are working with lawmakers to change this. The goal: develop a concrete pathway for military technicians and codify it in upcoming FAA reauthorization legislation. Central to the plan is a competency test tailored to military technicians, and official recognition of at least 18 months of relevant military experience toward the desired rating.
The coalition in early March made an official request via a letter to key committee members on both the House and Senate sides. As reauthorization activity heats up--the current, five-year bill expires on Sept. 30--the council will keep the pressure on key lawmakers.
Construction began on a new aircraft mechanic training facility at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (KCVG) April 17, 2023. The school will open its doors in early 2024.
In a partnership between FEAM Aero, a provider of aircraft line maintenance services, and EPIC Flight Academy, the facility boasts more than 30,000 square feet and will be home to around 300 students and staff.
“The opening of this new school at CVG Airport is a significant step towards our goals of helping to expand the aviation maintenance technician workforce and diversifying the industry,” said Cam Murphy, president of FEAM Aero.
“Working with Epic in conjunction with CVG allows FEAM Aero to provide invaluable hands-on experience to all future AMTs by giving them real-world experiences, working on the various aircraft that enter our hangars, and the ability to work while in school.”
ATEC, FAA, and Choose Aerospace Recognize Industry Standouts During Annual Conference
An instructor, a student, and a master mechanic with more than 50 years of service were recently recognized at the 2023 ATEC Annual Conference for their outstanding contributions to the industry. The honorees joined a host of teachers, schools, and students presented awards through the Choose Aerospace scholarship program.
An educator at Liberty University and a student attending Alabama Aviation College have been named the 2023 recipients of ATEC’s most prestigious awards. The annual awards are made possible through partnerships with the Northrop Rice Foundation and JSfirm.com, which provide cash prizes, as well as registration, travel and accommodations to the ATEC Annual Conference.
Liberty University educator Richard Johnson was named the Ivan D. Livi Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year Award for 2023, while Alabama Aviation College student Aaron Phillips was named the James Rardon Aviation Maintenance Technician Student of the Year for 2023.
Johnson was recognized for his dedication to re-evaluating and developing curriculum that has set a new standard within Liberty’s part 147 program. With more than 20 years of experience in aviation maintenance, Johnson was able to lead Liberty through a program and curriculum overhaul that established clear guidelines and defined safety protocols for students and their instructors.
Johnson retired as a Master Sergeant from the United States Air Force, serving as a Subject Matter Expert and Quality Assurance on three separate airframes. Johnson has also trained active duty personnel to become qualified aircraft mechanics and was involved in various projects with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Transportation. He holds a Master of Science in Aeronautics with a cognate in Aviation Education from Liberty University and is currently pursuing doctoral work through Florida Institute of Technology’s AvD program.
Following his career with USAF, Johnson realized he wanted to continue in a training role because of the impact he realized he could have working with new students and mechanics.
“He is always busy learning, improving, and fixing things, pursuing excellence for himself and the students in his care,” said Liberty University AMTS Instructor David Parish. “On every occasion, Richard has on point and proficient in every task set before him.”
Nominations for educator of the year recognize AMT instructors who, either through a single event or over the span of a career, have a direct impact on aviation maintenance students.
Student Aaron Phillips was recognized for his selfless dedication to his student peers.
As a child, Phillips’ dream was to one day serve in the United States Air Force. That dream nearly came true, but shortly after his acceptance into USAF, Phillips was injured during a high school football game and underwent subsequent surgeries - effectively disqualifying him from USAF and fulfilling his lifelong goal.
Phillips’ grandfather, a United Airlines pilot for more than 30 years, and his stepfather, an A&P mechanic, encouraged him to pursue AMT school and become an A&P mechanic. It was a departure from what he envisioned his life and career would look like, but he was soon thriving in AMT school with a renewed sense of passion and purpose.
Phillips’ dedication and work ethic have earned him a very respectable 4.0 GPA, and he found himself wanting to give back and help others have academic success as well.
“I made a vow when I started school to go all in. I’d help wherever I could,” Phillips said.
Whenever he heard of a fellow student struggling, Phillips would reach out to them. Answering questions from peers quickly evolved into more formalized tutoring, and now Phillips tutors those who need help with class materials or studying for their FAA written exams for free.
“I heard instructors talking about what a great student Aaron Phillips was, his high test scores and the extra things he does on campus, including repairing college equipment and tutoring students for free. Not only is Aaron the best student at our campus, but he is the best in the nation,” said AAC’s Campus Director Stan Smith.
Both Johnson and Phillips received a cash award and were honored at the ATEC Awards Luncheon on March 27 during the ATEC Annual Conference in Chicago.
Master Mechanic Fred Dyen, of Blue Ridge Community College, received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award; his name will be placed on the Roll of Honor. This award is named in honor of Mr. Charles Taylor, who was the first aviation mechanic in powered flight and is credited with designing and building the engine for the Wright Brothers’ first successful aircraft.
Dyen has more than 50 years of service as an FAA-certificated mechanic and has been a zealous advocate for aviation technician education. Dyen has served decades as an ATEC director and committee member and has been steadfast in his pursuant of common sense FAA regulatory oversight. He led the charge for FAA approval of distance learning for aviation maintenance education and was the first to achieve approval for his A&P program under the old part 147. Dyen was intimately involved in ATEC’s pursuit of regulatory reform and was instrumental to the council’s legislative efforts to promulgate a new part 147.
ATEC and the entire community is indebted to Fred for his tireless service to technician education.
ATEC and FAA awardees joined other student, school, and teacher scholarship recipients, which were also announced at the awards luncheon. These awards are made possible through the generous contributions to the Choose Aerospace Scholarship program.
Congratulations and THANK YOU to all those recognized at this year's event. Don't forget to mark your calendar for the 2024 ATEC Annual Conference in Tucson, March 17-20!
Respond to the 2023 ATEC Survey
ATEC is conducting a survey of FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools (AMTS) to assess key trends in aviation maintenance education and guide future association activities and priorities. Survey response requests were sent to the primary contact at each AMTS location on March 24. A copy of the survey is available here.
Responses to the survey populate the ATEC Pipeline Report, the primary source of information on AMTS supply vs. workforce demand for certificated mechanics. Data is also used to populate ATEC's Online School Directory, which provides real time program and contact information for industry representatives seeking educational partners.
If your school did not receive an invitation to participate or would like to confirm your school's primary contact, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The extended deadline to response is May 26.
ATEC Joins Coalition Urging Reforms to Ease Military Member Transition into Civilian Aviation Careers
In a letter to congressional leaders, the council and its allies asked for the advancement of regulatory process reforms to support the transition of military members with maintenance experience into the civil commercial aviation industry. The group pointed to the cumbersome process exiting military service men and women face when seeking civilian mechanic certification and the need for a better way.
ATEC joined with Airlines for America, the Aerospace Industries Association, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the Aeronautical Repair Station Association recommending reforms to part 65 to harmonize maintenance pathways with those available to pilots under part 61. Namely, the coalition called for Congress to direct the FAA to expand the pilot military competency testing process so that it is available to those veterans seeking mechanic certification.
"It is an unfortunate fact that military members with maintenance experience are not making the transition from active military service to the civil commercial aviation industry in large numbers," said the group. "What’s more, there is a significant disparity between military aviators and maintainers when it comes to pursuing careers in commercial aviation. It is reported that the commercial aviation industry is capturing 70% of military aviators as commercial pilots while only 10% of maintainers are succeeding in pursuing careers in commercial aviation maintenance."
The effort is intended to spur support from transportation committee leadership for legislative language in the upcoming FAA reauthorization bill. ATEC has long called on the FAA to develop a more efficient pathway to mechanic certification for military veterans (see Legislative issues page). While the mil comp test opportunity would likely divert some exiting military from full A&P school enrollment, it would also provide opportunities for schools to support military competency test preparation, and capture more of our exiting military to meet industry workforce demand.
In preparation for the Annual Conference, ATEC is conducting a survey of aviation technical personnel recruiters. Responses to the questionnaire will support council activities and the upcoming "Plane Talk" panel discussion at the conference on personnel hiring and candidate needs.
Survey responses are confidential, results will be reported in the aggregate.
Employer representatives are encouraged to submit a response by March 22.
The FAA recently published the new part 147 online training course for its inspector workforce. The approximately 2-hour asynchronous course is available to industry for a $150 registration fee. Participants can use the instructions below to enroll for the course.
Attendees must first register for an account in the FAA's Designee Registration System if they do not already have one:
When logged into your DRS account:
Once you have the invitation code, you will receive payment instructions and once processed, the course will be available under the "Enrollments" menu.
ATEC members are encouraged to provide any feedback to the FAA course directly to the agency, or to ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire.
Reauthorization is the process by which Congress provides funding and operating authority for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and typically serves as a vehicle to address a range of aviation issues. The last reauthorization bill was approved in 2018 and authorized the FAA for five years (it was the first five-year authorization since 1982). That authorization is set to expire September 30, 2023.
Ahead of the October deadline, Congress is actively soliciting industry input. These deliberations provide a relatively rare opportunity for the council to propose and move legislative priorities that further aviation technical workforce initiatives.
The council’s legislative committee has identified and communicated the following priorities for consideration in the next FAA reauthorization bill:
For more detail on the above priorities, click here.
Plan to join us to push these important initiatives at the Fly-In, taking place September 19-22 in Washington DC.
As follow on to previous advocacy efforts (see related story), a coalition of aviation organizations sent a letter to the FAA's regulatory support division, voicing joint concerns for the future state of the FAA testing system.
The group highlighted the recent change in PSI's third-party testing reimbursement rates as one example of recent missteps by the government contractor that negatively impacts access to testing. "PSI maintains that the fee reductions will not impact applicants, yet the contractor avoids transparency and refuses to provide data necessary for third parties to validate its assertions," said the group. "Specifically, our request for a complete list of testing locations, seating capacity, and the distribution of PSI-owned vs. third-party testing facilities was denied by the contractor."
The letter, signed by a coalition including ATEC, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Aviation Supplies & Academics, the National Air Transportation Association, and the National Association of Flight Instructors, made several recommendations:
The letter was accompanied by two Freedom of Information requests filed by AOPA last month, asking for the FAA to make available a copy of the FAA-PSI government contract and a full list of all testing centers, before and after the Jan. 1 change so that industry could make it's own assessment on capacity changes.
The FAA has revised and created a new FAA Form 8610, dividing it up into three separate applications:
In addition to separating the forms, major changes include:
The new forms are available on the FAA website at www.faa.gov/forms. More information about the revision is available in the recently published Notice 8900.651.
PSI Drastically Reduces Third-Party Test Center Reimbursement, Survey Finds Students Suffer
In November 2022, the FAA knowledge test contractor, PSI, notified third-party test centers that fee reimbursements for FAA knowledge tests would be significantly cut in the new year. Since testing rate caps are set by contract (between PSI and the FAA), the change, which went into effect on Jan. 1, effectively reduced the already narrow profit margin for third-party testing centers by about 65 percent.
PSI oversees more than 750 testing centers, many of those are third-party FAA knowledge test providers maintained by educational institutions and small business. The contractor asserts that the changes are necessary due to increased costs associated with operational security and to ensure "all centers providing the same proctored testing services [are] treated equally and operate under a level playing field, which has not been the case to date.”
Given that third-party providers administer a significant majority of FAA knowledge tests, the new fee structure is expected to create substantial financial hardship and ultimately result in a stoppage of service at many third-party testing centers, especially those run by small businesses.
Concerned about the impact on knowledge test accessibility, a coalition of aviation organizations, including ATEC, asked for a delay to the fee structure change--PSI subsequently denied that request. In its response, PSI stated that the decision was made "only after extensive analysis to mitigate against any potential risks." While PSI recognized the change would drive some third-party test centers to discontinue offering testing services, it also claimed that the closures "would not have a material impact on either access or availability of testing to any individual."
After requests for a copy of the FAA-PSI contract and a singular list of all FAA knowledge testing centers (so industry can assess the impact the fee structure change has had on capacity) were also denied, ATEC went to its membership to gather its own data in support of future advocacy efforts.
Ninety-one of the 192 FAA-certificated aviation maintenance technician schools responded to the survey, which was sent to primary contacts on Feb. 2. Preliminary findings suggest:
If your program has not submitted a response (or you are not sure), you can submit a response here. The first question requests your A&P school name so that duplicates can be reconciled.
ATEC Journal: Call for Papers
The Journal is currently accepting submissions of scholarly, research, application, or opinion articles. 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 Spring issue is May 1.
Authors may 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.
For more information and to submit a paper, visit http://www.atec-amt.org/the-journal.html.
ATEC Calls on Federal Government to Recognize Aviation Maintenance Programs as STEM
ATEC sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, asking the government agency to add a list of aviation maintenance programs to the Department’s STEM Designated Degree Program List. The letter follows an earlier effort to education the While House on the issue.
While some Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes utilized by A&P programs are already included on the list, the CIP codes most often used for aviation maintenance programs are absent. The trade association argued that FAA-certificated programs have as much, if not more, STEM-related content than a number of other disciplines DHS designates as STEM.
The U.S. Optional Practical Training (OPT) program allows foreign nationals holding an F1 student visa to obtain employment, while in school or directly after graduation, for up to 12 months. Students that earn a degree designated as a DHS “STEM field of study” may apply for a 24-month STEM OPT Extension, allowing an international student to work in the U.S. for up to three years after graduation.
The change would effectively give foreign national A&P students more opportunity for experience in the U.S., and provide a steady flow of new entrants to support the aviation industry, which could lead to further employer-based extensions through another visa program.
The DHS designation is targeted at degree programs, but non-degree programs could also benefit from "trickle down" effects since many state-based and funding programs use federal STEM CIP designations as the basis for their own criteria. The effort will also spring board similar initiatives targeted at Department of Labor STEM designations.
The DHS List is updated periodically with no particular timetable set for the next revision. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit a letter of support for the request. A letter template can be downloaded in a Word format, below.
With publication of the new part 147, the trade association has developed the following tools to assist new schools on their path to certification:
These resources are free or heavily discounted for ATEC members. Use the ATEC member password as the discount code to receive the member rate.
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is a craft oriented, independent aviation union representing licensed and unlicensed technicians and related employees in the aviation industry. 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.
AMFA annually awards cash scholarships to A&P students. This year's scholarships will be awarded to three individuals in the amount of $2,000 payable to each recipient's institution of higher learning. For more information or to apply, please visit: https://www.amfanational.org/index.cfm?zone=/unionactive/view_page.cfm&page=Education
Recognizing the student of the year and teacher of year are two of the most important events ATEC does in highlighting the best of the best in each category.
The James Rardon Aviation Maintenance Technician Student of the Year Award, presented by ATEC in collaboration with JSfirm.com, will see its 23td award winner next year recognizing outstanding achievement of a full-time aviation maintenance technician student. The award goes to a student who has made a direct impact on classmates, school or community as demonstrated through academics and actions.
In its 33rd year, The Ivan D. Livi Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement of an aviation maintenance technology instructor either for a single event or long-term outstanding performance as an educator.
The award honors one of ATEC’s founding fathers, a man who provided leadership for the organization for more than 50 years. In his role at Northrop Rice Foundation, Livi had a passion for providing guidance to aviation and maintenance students and laid the foundation for ATEC to grow and develop into what it is today. His life - spanning nine decades - is a testament to what can be achieved through dedication, hard work and a commitment to serving others. Outstanding achievements can be based on initiative and creativity, attitude and performance, education and training and how these attributes influenced the nomination and the benefits and effects of his or her achievement.
Award recipients will receive a monetary award and travel reimbursement to attend the ATEC Annual Conference in Chicago where they will be recognized during the award luncheon.
The deadline to submit nominations is February 1, 2023.
New Mechanic Figures Trending in Right Direction, But Major Workforce Shortage Still Looms, ATEC Pipeline Report Finds
A healthy but expected increase in newly certificated mechanics last year did not offset momentum lost during the pandemic, leaving the new-technician pipeline at least 20 percent below the levels needed to meet rising demand across civil aviation, the latest ATEC Pipeline Report concludes.
The latest edition of the Pipeline Report, produced annually to chart U.S. airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic workforce trends, found that 6,929 individuals obtained their FAA mechanic certificate in 2021—a 33 percent increase from the previous year. While the jump was the biggest in recent history, the increase left the total number of new mechanics short of 2019 levels and did not make up for the previous year’s 30 percent drop in certifications.
Considering the significant decline, ATEC estimates that the pandemic cost industry 5,000 new mechanics.
The global aviation maintenance industry was facing a shortage of certified mechanics before the pandemic, and the U.S. market was no exception. The downturn's ramifications mean meeting demand now will be even more challenging.
"The number of prospects in the mechanic pipeline needs to grow by at least 20 percent to meet industry's needs," said ATEC President and WSU Tech Aviation Program Dean James Hall. "National enrollment at A&P schools is only growing at about 2 percent per year, so we have a lot of work to do.”
The council has several initiatives focused on spreading awareness and funneling more students into A&P programs. “The ATEC community is committed to getting more future mechanics into that pipeline,” said Hall. “The vast majority of the council’s planned activities for the coming year are focused on increasing awareness and removing pathway bottlenecks.”
Much of that effort is being driven through Choose Aerospace, an ATEC-backed non-profit that is deploying aviation curriculum into high schools across the country. The initiative is focused on getting students on an earlier path to mechanic certification, while building pipelines directly into A&P programs.
Other trends noted in the report:
Download the 2022 Pipeline Report & Aviation Maintenance Technician School Directory at https://www.atec-amt.org/pipeline-report.html.
Learn more about the Choose Aerospace aviation maintenance curriculum at www.chooseaerospace.org.
Call for Research Ideas
Submit an abstract to be considered for presentation at the ATEC Annual Conference research roundtable.
The purpose of the research roundtable is to provide a forum for ATEC members to share their research. This roundtable is designed to encourage research collaboration, generate interest in aviation maintenance-related research, and encourage journal submissions to the ATEC Journal. Additionally, educators who require publications and presentations for tenure or promotion can use this as an opportunity to satisfy some of the requirements. Presenters will be selected based on abstract submissions as further outlined below.
Abstract submission requirements
Abstract review and selection
The abstract is due on Jan. 15, 2022. The review committee will select the abstracts for presentation by Feb. 1.
The one-hour conference breakout session will comprise of multiple presentations from the abstracts selected by the review committee.
For questions and/or comments, contact the roundtable moderator, Daniel H. Siao at Daniel.Siao@mtsu.edu.
During its annual board meeting, ATEC directors elected WSU Tech Aviation Program Dean James Hall as new council president. Jim was originally elected to the board in 2017 and has served on the executive committee as treasurer and vice president. In addition to his contributions to ATEC, Jim was appointed as a member of the Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force, a group that recently published recommendations to the FAA Administrator. Jim will serve a two-year term as president.
Southern Illinois University's Karen Johnson, who served as treasurer the last two years, was elected as vice president. Karen is also editor of the ATEC Journal and previous chair of the communications committee. Southern Utah University's Jared Britt will serve as treasurer. Jared is chair of the legislative committee and was a leader in the council’s efforts to advocate for part 147 regulatory reform on Capitol Hill.
Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics Director of Campus Operations Gary Hoyle will transition to immediate past president and continue as a member of the executive committee, having served the last four years as president. After more than 50 years in the aviation industry, Gary is planning a much-deserved retirement this summer. The Board still expects to see him at council events early and often.
The Board is proud to welcome several new directors, each of which will serve a four-year term:
During its annual meeting the board also recognized exiting and long-time director Ryan Goertzen. Ryan has served on the ATEC board for a decade, including four years as president. Under his leadership, the trade association's operating budget increase 400 percent and its membership more than doubled. He was steadfast in the pursuit to reform 14 CFR part 147, leading congressional advocacy efforts culminating in what ultimately passed Congress as a direct rule. As recognition of his work, fellow directors presented Ryan with a red line copy of the law that directed the FAA to remove and replace part 147 with ATEC-crafted language.
While Ryan's term on the ATEC board has ended, he continues on as a founding director and president of ATEC's sister organization, Choose Aerospace. In that role he leads pursuit of an aggressive goal to enroll 10,000 students in the Choose Aerospace aviation maintenance curriculum by 2027. The aviation technician education community is indebted to Ryan for his service and continued dedication to this community.
See the entire directory of ATEC's elected, volunteer leaders at www.atec-amt.org/leadership.
Learn more about the Choose Aerospace aviation maintenance curriculum for high school programs at www.chooseaerospace.org/curriculum.
The new part 147 provides new opportunities for aviation maintenance technician schools looking to better prepare students for careers in aviation maintenance. Several annual conference breakouts will focus on these opportunities. To that end, ATEC is seeking representatives from schools and industry to share best practices and experience on the following topics:
FAA Issues Guidance for Evaluating Previous Experience for Mechanic Applicants Using the ACS
With publication of the new part 147 and mechanic airman certification standards, the FAA is adjusting the way it evaluates mechanic applicant experience under 14 CFR part 65.
Up until Sept. 21, applicants with the requisite 18 months (or 30 months for a second rating) experience were required to have verifiable knowledge/skill in 50 percent of the subject areas listed in the appendices B, C, and D for the rating sought.
Moving forward, the evaluation will be based on the mechanic airman certification standard (FAA-S-ACS-1). Part 65 applicants will be required to have experience in 50 percent of the skill elements in the subject areas of the mechanic ACS, as applicable to the rating sought. (FAA officials have clarified that candidates must have experience in 50 percent of skills over all subject areas for the applicable rating, not 50 percent of each subject area.)
Since current guidance still directs inspectors to use the (now defunct) part 147 appendices, the Deviation Memo will stay in effect until the inspector handbook is revised (specifically, FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 5, Chapter 5, Section 2, paragraph 5-1134, and Section 6, paragraph 5-1253).
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.