Senate appropriators have penciled in only half of the funding called for in the FAA reauthorization for aviation workforce development programs including the AMT and pilot grant programs, the industry coalition supporting these programs reported.
The FY 2020 Transportation, House and Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last week includes funding for both the technician workforce development and pilot education programs. However, unlike the House bill (H.R. 3163), the Senate bill (S. 2520) does not fund both programs at the fully authorized level ($5 million each), instead providing a combined $5 million for both. The report states (at page 42):
Aviation Workforce Development Programs.—The Committee is concerned with the shortage of trained pilots and aviation technicians for our Nation’s commercial, recreational, and military aviation industries. The Committee recommendation includes $5,000,000 within Systems Planning and Resource Management for the Aviation Workforce Development Programs as authorized by section 625 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Funding shall be used for both aircraft pilot workforce and aviation maintenance workforce.
“While it’s not the slam dunk we were hoping for, the Senate T-HUD bill is a step in the direction,” wrote ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein, in his update to ATEC and other industry organization who are members of the coalition supporting the training initiatives. “The fact that the Senate bill contains some money for the programs significantly increases the likelihood that they’ll be funded for FY 2020. The question now is how much Congress will provide. Our mission is to do everything in our powers to ensure the number in the conference report is the House number ($10 million total), not the Senate’s.”
A coalition of industry group supporters will continue to make the case for investing in America’s aviation workforce.
ATEC is encouraging its members to contact legislators in support of full funding for the AMT program. ARSA has provided materials to support continuing advocacy here.
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.