As part of its efforts to support the impending part 147 rulemaking, the FAA requested that ATEC facilitate a short survey of all current part 147 aviation maintenance technician schools. The survey addressed three areas: 1) the design of competency-based programs; 2) the implementation of competency-based programs; and 3) the extension of course offerings through dual enrollment programs.
Sixty two of the 175 certificated schools responded. Of those, 61% stated they would implement a competency-based program if allowed under the new regulation (22% were unsure and 16% said they would not utilize competency-based curriculum).
When asked whether their school would offer courses away from the fixed location (e.g., as part of a high school dual-enrollment program), 66% responded in the affirmative, including 8% that already have some form of dual-enrollment program.
Responses provided strong indication that these opportunities would increase student enrollment.
The data will support an economic analysis that is expected to accompany the final rule.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) established a competency-based training and assessment task force that will update international procedures related to the training of aviation personnel. A new model will focus on competency rather than the ability to perform a specific task, recognizing that successful personnel possess more than just the requisite skill; they must also have ability and knowledge required to perform a task in a specific context.
An immediate task for the aircraft maintenance personnel sub-group is to replace existing task-based training recommendations with a list of competencies required for today’s licensed maintenance personnel. A draft framework identifies observable behaviors to assess work management, situational awareness, risk management, system thinking, team work, problem solving and decision making, self-management and communication.
The group’s project plan includes creation and publication of personnel competency framework and a corresponding manual to aid implementation. The target publication date is scheduled for 2020.
ATEC Provides FAA Recommendations for AMTS additional fixed locations to support dual enrollment programs
After conducting an FAA-requested survey to support the part 147 rulemaking, ATEC provided additional comment on how the agency may facilitate additional fixed locations for certificated aviation maintenance technician schools.
AMTS are facing unprecedented demand for A&P graduates, to meet the growing need schools are looking at innovative ways to increase enrollment. Dual enrollment programs, whereby AMTS provide course instruction at local high schools, allowing students to earn credit towards an A&P program, are growing in popularity as a solution to the problem.
While the current regulation does not prohibit AMTS from providing courses at another location, local inspector opinion on programs allowable under the regulation varies considerably, with some expressly forbidding the practice. Local office personnel that prohibit dual enrollment generally cite language in FAA Advisory Circular 147-3B, which states that an AMTS “may not operate as a satellite facility” and that “all AMTS must be FAA-certificated as separate facilities.”
Notwithstanding the fact that an AC cannot impose requirements or prohibitions, ATEC beseeched the agency to carefully consider any regulatory language (i.e., satellites vs. fixed locations) that might create confusion in enforcement. It also suggested that the agency utilize current OpSpecs standard templates to introduce additional fixed locations—OpSpecs paragraph A101—and course work provided at those locations—OpSpecs paragraph D100. Keeping in line with standard practice for other air agencies that hold OpSpecs (as opposed to training specifications), the additional locations would be under the control of the AMTS primary location and subject to FAA oversight.
The interactive webinar that took place Thursday, May 11, at 11:00 AM CDT is available in a recorded version. The presentation gives an overview of FAA guidance for part 147 distance education programs and options available for learning management systems and live virtual classrooms.
About the presenter: Karen Johnson is an associate professor in the department of aviation technologies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, she is currently working on her Ph.D. in learning systems design and technology where her focus is online applications for the FAA part 147 curriculum.
Members can access the recording for free in the ATEC webinar library.
EASA surveyed the maintenance community in anticipation of changes to Parts-147 and 66. According to the safety agency, while EASA Part-147 has remained unchanged, Part-66 requirements have been continuously updated over the last 13 years. In preparation for revision, EASA requested feedback from certificated schools and repair stations, private individuals, aircraft maintenance license holders and other interested stakeholders.
In furtherance of ATEC’s strategic objective to promote sound regulatory policy and uniform application, the council joined the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) to submit feedback this past February. A summary of survey results is expected to publish on the EASA website this summer.
Expanding Global Fleet Combined with Lack of Qualified Technicians Creating Labor Squeeze for Airline Industry
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Executives from the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) industry are worried about an anticipated shortfall in the number of adequately trained mechanics at a time when the global airline fleet is expanding and modernizing, according to Oliver Wyman’s 2017 MRO survey titled When Growth Outpaces Capacity.
“It is a double whammy. Over the next decade a record number of maintenance technicians will retire, outpacing the total number of new mechanics entering the market,” said Brian Prentice, partner with Oliver Wyman. “At the same time, the global fleet is growing significantly. Additionally, the shortfall is expected to create expertise gaps as the industry finds itself having to service a fleet that will be almost equally divided between older and newer technology aircraft. This is one situation in the US, where the jobs are available, but the people are not.”
According to the survey, 78 percent say it is getting harder to hire mechanics and the tightening labor market is pushing them to rely on overtime and other stop-gap efforts to keep up with market demand.
The aging of the mechanic workforce and anticipated retirements could not come at a worse time for the industry, as it gears up to accommodate the larger fleet. The median age of aviation mechanics in the United States is 51 years old, nine years higher than the median age for the broader US workforce according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, relatively few millennials are looking to train as aviation mechanics. When asked why it was difficult to recruit, 51 percent of survey respondents identified wages and benefits as an obstacle.
Additional survey findings include:
“The industry is facing a variety of challenges and some can be remedied by a combination of improved efficiencies driven by new technology solutions and increased wages to attract new talent,” added Prentice. “However, this may take up to a decade to achieve, leaving the industry at a crossroads in the meantime.”
About the MRO Survey
In its second decade, Oliver Wyman surveys a range of executives from across the aviation industry cross key trends and emerging issues in the MRO sector. Sixty-three percent of this year’s respondents to the annual survey were senior executives — either in C-suite posts or vice president or above, and 85 percent were director level or above. More than half (55%) were located in North America.
About Oliver Wyman
Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 50+ cities across nearly 30 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has about 4,500 professionals around the world who help clients optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMC). For more information, visit www.oliverwyman.com. Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @OliverWyman.
The Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) recently accepted an FAA task to support aviation regulatory reform. The task directs the committee to provide recommendations for the repeal, replacement or modification of existing and planned regulations.
The task was initiated by the administration’s government-wide effort to “enforce the regulatory reform agenda.” The ARAC is expected to submit an initial recommendation report to the FAA by June 1.
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.