In 2016, the FAA published its first airman certification standards (ACS) under the watchful eye of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee's Airman Certification System Working Group. The purpose of the ACS is to set forth what an airman applicant must know, say, and do in order to qualify for certification, and act as the bedrock on which FAA testing and guidance materials are based. Since the original ACS was published, six others have followed, all providing knowledge and skill standards for pilot certification.
In 2019, the aviation maintenance community was invited to participate in the the agency's development of the Mechanic Airman Certification Standard. Since that time, ATEC has been steadfast in its continual review and comment on the draft standard, with the understanding that those standards when published would ultimately drive training and curriculum development. Unfortunately, while the draft ACS is near completion, it has joined eleven other ACS in a long line of documents awaiting publication.
The backlog is due to a seeming reinterpretation of the FAA's responsibilities with regard to standards publication. Due to the administration's response to promulgation of a Department of Transportation rulemaking, in 2019, the working group's efforts were brought to a halt.
On Feb. 23, the ACS working group sent a letter, signed by several members of the ATEC community including its executive director Crystal Maguire, urging the agency to publish the long-awaited standards. In its ask, working group members provided a potential solution that would ensure the ACS remains a living, breathing document with the flexibility to adapt testing and training as aviation technologies continue to evolve:
"We submit for your consideration that the ACS is not subject to Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 5 administrative procedures," said working group members. "A common sense approach is that the ACS should not be considered rulemaking or guidance, but instead a framework for internal agency governance of certification processes. Industry will in turn incorporate the ACS knowledge and skill elements in its own training programs because it knows the agency will assess those elements in its FAA-facilitated airman tests."
Publication of the ACS is vital to the aviation education community given an expected interim final rule will require FAA-certificated A&P schools align their curriculums with the ACS. The same week the ACS working group delivered its letter encouraging quick publication of the backlog of ACS, ATEC also sent a letter to FAA officials outlining its expectations with regard to the new part 147 and how it should incorporate those standards (see related story).
Clemson University Center for Workforce Development is seeking AMT students who have been in an
aviation maintenance program since March 2020 to participate in a study.
The goal of this project is to better understand the immediate learning responses to the COVID-19 crisis of two-year colleges with advanced technological education programs in their efforts to maintain academic continuity using digital learning tools such as virtual reality simulations and labs. Participation in this study will involve participating in an interview remotely on Zoom. We expect this interview to last for approximately 1 hour. Participants who complete the interview will receive a thank you gift card.
For more information or to participate in this study, please contact me, Dr. Katie Shakour, the research associate for the study, at email@example.com.
Last fall, the FAA officially convened the Department of Transportation’s Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force. Appointees have since been collecting information regarding experiences with youth engagement, career development, workforce needs and industry readiness.
To assist in that work, the task force requests assistance gathering input from students in AMTS and any other aviation-specific training programs about the experiences with youth interest in aviation careers.
Please share the following invitation with students in your programs, encouraging feedback that will help turn their decision to develop aviation skills into better industry-wide effort to recruit and develop new talent:
The United States – and world – need more people to pursue careers in aviation. Since you’re on the path already, your experience is invaluable to the industry as it improves recruitment and retention efforts. Please share that experience by completing the following questionnaire, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force. Anything you share will be confidential and will not be seen by your school or instructors. To complete the survey, access the Google Form at: https://forms.gle/x38aRMXxUA6qUEqc7.
The deadline to submit a response is Feb. 28.
Roanoke, Texas (February 2, 2021) - After the global events of 2020 brought aviation hiring to a screeching halt, JSfirm.com says that activity on their website shows aviation hiring is on the rise once again. Not only has job seeker activity shown a marked increase, but the number of companies advertising their openings on the site is also returning to pre-Covid levels.
JSfirm.com has seen an overall increase of 19% in job postings over the last quarter, and January alone has seen a record number of job postings on JSfirm.com, even compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Website traffic on JSfirm.com from job seekers has been on a steady increase over the past month, as well, with January 2021 (to-date) seeing a 48% increase in job seeker activity compared to December 2020.
Abbey Hutter, Executive Director of JSfirm.com, said, “After the sudden and unexpected downturn of hiring in the aviation industry in 2020, we were all eager to see what 2021 would bring us. The increase of job advertisements from companies is astounding. This is a very promising start to 2021.” She continued, “Our concern now is that due to retirements and people leaving the industry during the past year, the industry will be left with an even bigger shortage of talent than before Covid. Smart companies are hiring now, so they don’t find themselves dealing with work-stopping understaffing issues as the industry begins to regain steam.”
See full press release 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.