The Federal Aviation Administration has published the long-awaited part 147 supplemental proposed rule for public inspection. The official version will publish in the federal register on April 16.
ATEC executive staff, board leadership and committee members will review over the next few days. Stay tuned for a full analysis.
Comments will be due 60 days after publication, which should fall on or about June 15.
The proposal is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/04/16/2019-06399/aviation-maintenance-technician-schools.
On April 11, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) received the FAA’s response to a Feb. 5 letter sent by a coalition of aviation organizations, including ATEC, regarding funding for the new aviation workforce development grant programs created by Sec. 625 of last year’s FAA reauthorization law.
Assistant FAA administrator for human resource management Annie Andrews stated that while the agency was committed to implementing the workforce development initiatives, there were no plans to begin before 2021.
An aviation coalition, led by ARSA, will continue to push for program funding in FY 2020 appropriations bills so the FAA can start making grants in FY 2020. The trade association is calling upon the community to make initiation of the grant programs a near-term priority for Congress and the FAA.
If your organization is in the district of a member of the House or Senate appropriations committees visit ARSA's action center to send a note in support of the initiative: arsa.org/legislative/grant-program-action-center.
Read the FAA's response in its entirety here: faagrantresponse-20190412.pdf
Each year, ATEC recognizes excellence in aviation maintenance training by honoring an outstanding educator and an exemplary student. At it's annual conference awards luncheon on March 18, the council announced the 2019 recipients of the James Rardon AMT Student of the Year and the Ivan D. Livi AMT Educator of the Year awards:
Student, Colorado Northwestern Community College
Teachers describe Ms. Green as a self-disciplined worker, a model for the rest of the class. She maintains a 3.97 GPA while juggling other obligations as a work-study student and mother of a toddler. Ms. Green has also been awarded scholarships from the Association of Women in Aviation Maintenance and the Colorado Association of Business Aviation.
Aviation Department Head and Instructor, Westfield Technical Academy
Mr. Wilson was instrumental in setting up and obtaining certification for the Westfield's grade 9-12 airframe and powerplant program, the only one of its kind in the New England area. According to peers, "Mr. Wilson will grab a mop or a broom and assist with shop cleanup, never asking someone to do something he is not willing to do himself." He has organized and spearheaded several events that bring learning into the classroom, and enhance community awareness of the program. He served in the U.S. Air Force and has been at the helm of the Westfield program for nearly four years.
Ms. Green and Mr. Wilson were presented the award at the conference. Each received an expenses-paid trip to the conference, provided in part by the Northrop Rice Foundation, a plaque, and a $750 cash award courtesy of JSfirm.com.
The ATEC award selection committee is incredibly proud of these two individuals, and the work they have done and will continue to do as aviation maintenance professionals.
This story was reprinted with their permission from Aircraft Maintenance Technology Magazine. Written by ATEC Communications Committee Chair and ATEC Journal Editor Karen Johnson.
Council committee chairs highlighted trade association initiatives including activities in support of FAA reauthorization’s workforce grant and Title 14 Code of Federal Regulation part 147 promulgation directive. Membership reported a 72% aviation maintenance technical school market share with sights set on 85% by 2021. Communications has begun researching opportunities for enhanced member engagement through online tools, and the meeting planning committee announced dates and locations for four regional outreach meetings and plans to hold next year’s annual conference in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Flight Standards Director Tim Shaver updated attendees on on-going management and cultural changes to improve agency processes and the subsequent impact on working relationships between local FAA offices and certificate holders. Other FAA representatives facilitated sessions and breakouts throughout the event including briefings on upcoming changes to mechanic applications and Organization Designation Authorization program elements that would allow schools to administer oral and practical testing. Officials and industry partners also gave an update on imminent airman certification standards and how the new testing standard will impact part 147 program content.
Even with the wide variety of topics discussed during the general and break-out sessions there were two prevalent themes: alleviating the technician workforce shortage and reversing the negative perception of career technical education. These issues took center stage in sessions highlighting ATEC’s Choose Aerospace initiative, results from a recent survey of aviation recruiters regarding candidate shortfalls, and a new Kansas pathway program.
Choose Aerospace is an awareness campaign spearheaded by ATEC to bring together a coalition of industry stakeholders to quantify staffing needs and promote aerospace technical careers. This year’s panel discussed solution-oriented strategies that the aviation maintenance community can implement in a concerted effort to alleviate the workforce shortage. Panelists called for companies to join the effort, and for educational institutions to help spread the word. For more information about that initiative, visit www.ChooseAerospace.org.
Directors from Textron Aviation and representatives from the Wichita Public school system briefed attendees on a new program that provides high school students with immediate technical employment potential. Kansas’ Aviation Pathway illustrated how public-private partnerships can create career paths for students while addressing local employment needs. “Wichita is a great city with dynamic relationships between education, business, and industry,” said WSU Tech Dean of Aviation Technologies Jim Hall during the session. “The program provides local employers with a skilled workforce and gives our students the training they need to begin successful careers.” The purpose of the panel was to share what the city and employers learned, and to expand existing partnerships. “Our goal as a school is to always put students first and we wanted to help other schools learn from us and we from them,” said Hall.
A popular session with attendees was an employer-run panel discussion surrounding knowledge and skill gaps for new technical personnel. Representatives from United Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, AAR Corp., Textron Aviation, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems elaborated on results of a recent survey of industry recruiters. Attendees got direct accounts of what the perceived gaps in critical thinking and soft skills are among graduates and how educators can work to minimize them.
Following a brief message from U.S. Representative Ron Estes (R-KS), the Northrop Rice Foundation announced school and individual recipients of several awards and scholarships supported through the generous contributions of United Airlines, NIDA Corporation, Avotek, Aircraft Technical Book Company, and Snap-on to name a few. ATEC also recognized Westfield Technical Academy’s Galen Wilson as this year’s educator of the year, and Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Mikayla Green as student of the year. The two award recipients received an all-expenses-paid trip to accept the award, and for the first time, a monetary gift, courtesy of JSfirm.com.
For the third year, ATEC facilitated the Employer Link, intended to facilitate education-employer partnerships and to provide networking opportunities for attendees and 16 employer-company sponsors. This year’s event was held at the Kansas Aviation Museum, and incorporated ATEC’s first student career fair, where 100 students attended to learn about career opportunities with participating companies.
A full-day of breakouts guided attendees through various tracks focused on administration, regulatory issues, talent sourcing, instructor needs, and technical training with topics ranging from certification standards to English proficiency in the aviation field to using augmented reality in the classroom.
The conference again showcased an exhibition hall, where 21 companies and education vendors provided information and resources on everything from instructional products to tools. The largest-ever group of vendors included some new to the show, and others that have been involved for over 25 years.
The event concluded with tours highlighting Wichita aerospace. Attendees were ushered to Bombardier and Textron Aviation facilities, and visit Doc, Wichita’s Boeing B-29 Superfortress, in his new home, $6.5 million facility that opened just weeks prior to their visit.
Conference presentations and materials are available online at 2019 Annual Conference.
Stay tuned for 2020 conference dates, which will be announced soon!
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.