On Jan. 21, ATEC and the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) submitted joint comments on FAA Draft Advisory Circular (AC) 65-25F, “William (Bill) O'Brien Aviation Maintenance Technician Awards Program.”
The O’Brien Awards
Through the William (Bill) O’Brien Awards Program, the FAA recognizes eligible technicians who receive and businesses that promote professional development. The program was founded in 1991 to create an incentive for AMT employees and employers to participate aggressively in maintenance training courses.
Updating AC 65-25
The agency’s purpose for updating the AC was to provide a general overview of the program and direct potential participants online for further information. To ATEC and ARSA, the update represents an opportunity to improve the document in other ways. Most notably:
(1) Adding part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technical Schools (AMTSs) to the list of acceptable instruction or course providers. Individuals should be encouraged to take refresher courses from these FAA-controlled institutions. For their part, the schools should have an incentive to provide classes (and many do as IA renewal seminars) that do not meet the definition of “college level course” in the AC.
(2) Removing the three-employee requirement from eligible companies. Any company that engages in aviation services should be supported by this program, no matter the size.
To view the entire submission, including a suggested version of the AC with red-lined changes, please click here.
ATEC is soliciting comments on draft AC 147-3B, Certification and Operation of Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools. The draft document adopts some Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools Curriculum and Operating Requirements Working Group recommendations, which can be implemented prior to formal rule change, including distance learning and operations specifications guidance.
Submit all comments to Chuck Horning at email@example.com.
The FAA has released a notice introducing operations specifications (OpSpecs) for Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools (AMTS). Issuance of OpSpecs for part 147 AMTS was part of the industry working group’s 2008 recommendation.
The notice provides the standard OpSpecs template that will be used to control definitions and curriculum currently provided for in part 147 appendices A, B, C and D. OpSpecs must be issued to institutions with part 147 certificates by July 21, 2015.
On Jan. 9, the White House unveiled a proposal to make two years of community college free for many students. At the same time, President Obama announced a new American Technical Training Fund to prepare Americans for better-paying jobs by connecting skills development to the needs of employers.
Building on a model that has been used by Tennessee and Chicago, the president’s America’s College Promise proposal would allow students to attend community college with two-years of tuition paid for by federal and state governments.
Given the federal budget situation and the ongoing debate about the proper role of the federal government, there are considerable questions about whether making community college a new entitlement is the right course of action. But ATEC commends the administration for highlighting the country’s skilled, technical worker shortage and looks forward to working with Congress and the president on this important issue. Simply put, the aviation maintenance industry depends on trained technicians and there are important opportunities for the federal government to help schools and companies get more workers into the pipeline.
Stay tuned for more updates as the association continues its advocacy on workforce policy issues in the months ahead. For more information on the president’s proposal, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/09/fact-sheet-white-house-unveils-america-s-college-promise-proposal-tuitio
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.