Update: The President has formally acknowledged AMT Day: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/presidential-message-aviation-maintenance-technician-day/
Aviation leaders sent a letter to the president earlier this week, seeking formal recognition of May 24 as Aviation Maintenance Technician Day. The day is already officially recognized by nearly all 50 United States, Commonwealths and Territories, United States Congress, and United States Senate.
The letter, initiated by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association and the Aerospace Maintenance Council, requests that "the White House honor a true American hero that was almost forgotten by history, and recognize the importance of the contributions made by Charles E. Taylor and the men and women who have followed in his footsteps by celebrating Aviation Maintenance Technician Day on May 24 of this year and each year following."
In addition to ATEC, AMFA and AMC, the letter was signed by--
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Aircraft Electronics Association
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Airlines for America
Aviation Mechanics Coalition
Helicopter Association International
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association
The council's annual event will take place Sept. 10-13, 2019 in Washington DC. All aviation education stakeholders are invited to Join the community to spread the word about the positive impact of aviation maintenance education.
The event will include a day of roundtable discussions with FAA, Dept. of Ed and Dept. of Labor officials. Attendees will discuss ways to enhance the maintenance technician pipeline and prepare for day two's visits with congressional representatives.
An Aug. 8 webinar will ensure all attendees are properly prepared for their visit. Get more information on our issues, and register for both the webinar and the Fly-in below.
Last month, the agency published the long-awaited supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) for Title 14 CFR part 147, the regulation governing aviation maintenance technician schools.
The proposal "supplements" the agency's 2015 notice of proposed rulemaking, which recommended removal of static curriculum requirements and allowance for a credit-hour system. ATEC and others called for more flexibility that would allow for competency-based programs and expansion of curriculum into high schools. The SNPRM makes additional proposals to address those concerns.
While the community applauds the agency for offering a solution, elements in its proposal miss the mark. The SNPRM layers in a complicated web of requirements and approvals for competency-based programs and satellite locations, many of which duplicate accreditation mandates.
In its comments to the SNPRM, the council will reiterate its plea for FAA deference in all matters concerning the quality of education, an element that falls squarely in the Dept. of Education's purview. It will ask that the agency focus its oversight on items specific to a certificated A&P program, such as facility, equipment, and material requirements, unique instructor qualifications, and assessment based on student performance of the mechanic test.
It is ATEC's position that accredited higher institutions of learning not be subject to duplicative--and sometimes contradictory--government requirements. The Dept. of Ed and its accrediting bodies are the education experts, and work in partnership with our schools to ensure educational outcomes are achieved. The council's comments to the SNPRM will be grounded in that theme, and offer alternative language that gives our schools more flexibility, and puts less burden on our stewards of aviation safety.
ATEC's docket submission will be available to the community in advance of the comment period deadline, so that stakeholders can align with the council's stance in their own comments, if they so choose.
For a full analysis, read an article that ran in the latest edition of Aviation Week's Inside MRO, Proposed Regulation Raises Questions About FAA’s Role In Education.
To brief the community on the particulars, and assist schools and companies with their own comments (due June 17), the council is holding an online webinar on May 30. The online event is free to government employees and ATEC members.
On April 16, the Federal Aviation Administration published its long-awaited part 147 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM). The agency is requesting public comment on three new proposals: competency-based curriculum, satellite locations, and changes to the current "norms report."
On May 30, ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire will provide a membership briefing on the supplement to include an overview of the rulemaking, insight on its potential impact, and step-by-step instructions on how you can actively participate through comment submission.
The webinar is free to government employees and ATEC members. A recorded version will be subsequently available on the ATEC website for those not able to attend the live event.
ATEC delivered a letter to congressional leaders voicing its opposition to The Protect Students Act of 2019 (S.867). Masked rhetorically as a student protection aid, the bill would severely limit proprietary aviation maintenance technician schools from serving students and veterans, and negatively impact aerospace companies looking to hire FAA-certified A&P mechanics and other aviation technical personnel.
"Twenty-three of the 171 FAA-certificated schools are proprietary institutions. While these schools only make up 13% of the AMTS population, they produce 25% of AMTS graduates within the United States—one out of every four aviation maintenance graduates are produced from tax-paying proprietary institutions," said ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire in a letter to the bill's co-sponsors. "If enacted, S.867 would threaten the continued viability of these proprietary schools and negatively impact an estimated 1,000 student veterans currently enrolled in these schools."
Historically, the U.S. Government has required many things of proprietary schools that it does not require of public universities, community colleges, or non-profit institutions. One of these requirements is the 90/10 rule, which mandates that proprietary schools derive no more than 90% of their income from Title IV financial aid funding sources (such as Pell Grants and Stafford Loans). The remaining 10% must come from other funding sources such as student payments, family contributions, employer assistance, vocational rehab, Veterans Administration benefits, and the GI Bill.
S.867 seeks to change the 90/10 ratio to 85/15—meaning the 10% of required income from non-Title IV sources would increase to 15%—and recategorize GI Bill benefits as a federal Title IV funding source. If Veterans Benefits were considered Title IV funding, many of our proprietary schools would have to stop taking GI Bill funds to meet the new ratio requirements. Consequently, the military would default on its promise to veterans that they can use their GI Bill at any accredited and approved institution of higher education, and likely school shut downs would cost the aerospace industry a quarter of its mechanic school graduates.
The proposed law comes at a time when the aviation industry is preparing for a massive technical workforce shortage. ATEC’s recent Pipeline Report found that mechanics are retiring faster than they are being replaced; the mechanic population is expected to decrease 5% in the next 15 years. Oliver Wyman, a technical consulting group, forecasts that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022. The Aeronautical Repair Station Association estimates the technician shortage is costing industry $100 million per month. Meanwhile, forecasts by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Boeing, and Airbus project a need for thousands of additional mechanics in the next 10-20 years.
Get more information on this issue and other ATEC legislative priorities in the council's Legislative Tool Kit.
NC3 is hosting its 3rd annual Aviation Training at WSU Tech June 10-14. This will be the only opportunity this year to get certified in Structural Sheet Metal Assembly and Precision Electrical Termination. Instructors who attend this training will:
In addition to the NC3 aviation certifications, there are several certification courses offered at this event for advanced manufacturing, 3D printing, automotive and safety.
Click here to register for the event, or visit www.NC3.net to learn more about NC3 as an organization.
On May 6, a coalition of 16 aviation industry associations jointly submitted comments to the FAA’s Draft Advisory Circular (AC) 65-30B, “Overview of the Aviation Maintenance Profession.” Led by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), the group continued work begun in 2014 when the agency last released a draft version of the AC – which hasn’t been officially updated since 2001. (See related story.)
“As representatives of persons involved in the design, production, operations and maintenance of civil aviation products and articles, each organization supporting these comments depends on a vibrant pool of talented aviation maintenance professionals to ensure safety worldwide,” the group explained in its submission. Comments focused on illustration of the breadth of opportunities available in aviation maintenance, including noncertificated professionals, certificated repairmen, certificated mechanics, mechanics holding inspection authorization and transitioning military personnel.
“There is no single point of entry or career trajectory for aviation maintenance professionals,” the draft industry submission said. “Depending on knowledge, education, experience, skill and curiosity, individuals with an interest in the kinds of hands-on, intellectually-challenging and technically-skilled work performed in all manner of aviation maintenance facilities may begin or continue a career through any one of the ‘pathways’ described in this AC.”
While the agency deliberates industry comment, schools are encouraged to download the community's work product to help illustrate the career paths available to would-be aviators.
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.