The Fly-in will take place September 6-7 in Washington, DC. The annual pilgrimage provides an intimate venue for attendees to engage policy makers and legislative leaders on issues that directly affect their operations. It is an opportunity to get involved and become part of the process.
This year’s Fly-in coincides with an exciting time for aviation maintenance education. Workforce needs are spurring renewed government interest in apprenticeship programs, community partnerships, and federal support for state and local career and technical education. The part 147 community is on the precipice of new regulations that will create dynamic and innovative teaching opportunities. And employers are forging new partnerships with educational institutions to ensure they can meet growing demand. Now is a great time to get involved. Get to Washington.
Day one’s agenda is packed with industry group roundtables and briefings from Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Education and White House officials. Those discussions will set the stage for day two’s Capitol Hill onslaught, where attendees will meet with congressional leaders to educate them on the positive impact aviation maintenance education has on their communities.
The schedule provides plenty of networking events and occasions to see the sights up close and personal. Industry and institutional representatives are welcome, administration and executive-level personnel are especially encouraged to participate since many of the sessions will focus on high-level programmatic themes, challenges and opportunities.
Not yet convinced? See what last year’s first-time attendees had to say about their experience in Washington. (See more on ATEC's YouTube Channel.)
Want more information? Sign up for ATEC’s Fly-in Webinar on July 25 at 11:00 AM CT.
Ready to book your ticket? See the agenda, get hotel information, and reserve your spot. Act soon. Space is limited.
A new grant opportunity is available through the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education in the U.S. Department of Education— the High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher Pathway Initiative.
Consistent shortages of high school CTE teachers make it difficult to respond to student and community interest in creating or expanding CTE programs focused on in-demand industry sectors and occupations. Just announced in the June 13, 2017, Federal Register, this grant opportunity will award up to $3.6 million for strategies and activities that seek to address these shortages. Questions may be directed to CTEteachergrant@ed.gov. Applications are due July 28, 2017.
A pre-application webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 22, 2017, at 2:00 pm EST. Register at http://cte.ed.gov/cal/high-school-cte-pre-application-webinar.
Additional information on this grant opportunity has been posted to the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network (PCRN) website at http://cte.ed.gov.
Revised sample exams are available at www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_questions/.
The FAA does not make all questions in its A&P knowledge test bank available to the public; instead it provides a representative sample, which it periodically revises as detailed in a "What's New" document. According to the most recent What's New, rotax questions were removed from the question bank, and minor adjustments to wording were made to questions on aircraft drawings, basic electricity, basic physics, cleaning and corrosion control, fluid lines and fittings, ground operations and servicing, human factors, maintenance forms and records, maintenance publications, materials and processes, mathematics, mechanic privileges and limitations, and weight and balance.
Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. (ASA) publishes specific changes made to sample exams for each test roll. That analysis can be found at www.asa2fly.com/FAA-Knowledge-Exams-W22C162.aspx.
The council continues to work through the airman certification standards (ACS) working group to ensure a documented and transparent process for creating, vetting and revising test bank questions. The FAA will begin utilizing the ACS this summer to review and modify the test bank. ATEC Treasurer and Embry-Riddle University Aviation Maintenance Science Department Chairman Chuck Horning is the industry representative on that review board.
The world’s passenger aircraft fleet above 100 seats is set to more than double in the next 20 years to over 40,000 planes as traffic is set to grow at 4.4 percent per year, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2017-2036.
Over this period, increasing numbers of first time flyers, rising disposable income spent on air travel, expanding tourism, industry liberalisation, new routes and evolving airline business models are driving a need for 34,170 passenger and 730 freighter aircraft worth a combined total of US$5.3 trillion. Over 70 percent of new units are single aisle with 60 percent for growth and 40 percent for replacement of less fuel efficient aircraft.
A doubling in the commercial fleet over the next 20 years sees a need for 530,000 new pilots and 550,000 new maintenance engineers, and provides Airbus’ global services business a catalyst to grow. Airbus has expanded its global network of training locations from five to 16 in the space of three years.
Air traffic growth is highest in emerging markets such as China, India, the rest of Asia and Latin America and almost double the 3.2 percent per year growth forecast in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe. Emerging markets currently home to 6.4 billion of the world’s 7.4 billion population will account for nearly 50 percent of the world’s private consumption by 2036.
“Air travel is remarkably resilient to external shocks and doubles every 15 years,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “Asia Pacific continues to be an engine for growth, with domestic China to become the world’s largest market. Disposable incomes are growing and in emerging economies the number of people taking a flight will nearly triple between now and 2036.”
Over the next 20 years Asia Pacific is set to take 41 percent of new deliveries, followed by Europe with 20 percent and North America at 16 percent. Middle class numbers will almost double to nearly five billion as wealth creation makes aviation even more accessible particularly in emerging economies where spending on air travel services is set to double.
In the twin aisle segment, such as the A330 Family, A350 XWB Family and the A380, Airbus forecasts a requirement for some 10,100 aircraft valued at US$2.9 trillion.
In the single aisle segment, such at the A320neo Family, Airbus forecasts a requirement for some 24,810 aircraft valued at US$2.4 trillion. Airlines adding capacity by upsizing to the largest single aisle, the A321, will find even more business opportunities with the A321neo thanks to its range up to 4,000nm and unbeatable fuel efficiency. In 2016, the A321 represented over 40 percent of single aisle deliveries and over 60 percent of single aisle orders.
The Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Airman Certification Standards (ACS) will soon replace current practical test standards (PTS), and clearly define minimum knowledge and skill requirements for A&P mechanics. Once completed, the ACS will provide the framework for the written, oral and practical mechanic tests; and subsequently, a guide for revising handbooks, oral questions, practical projects and the knowledge test bank. That means outdated questions and projects will be replaced with relevant assessment material, and incorrect, incomplete or inadequate questions and projects will be updated or removed.
An FAA-industry working group is developing the standard, and has made the most recent draft available for industry comment. Download the document below, and submit feedback (preferably via tracked changes in Microsoft Word) to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 7.
Lots of behind-the-scenes activity is taking place in preparation for the new part 147. The expectation is that a new rule will be issued this summer, so it’s a good time to sit back, take a breath, and assess where we’re at, and opportunities coming down the pike.
First, a quick recap: Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 147 governs aviation maintenance technician schools that hold a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate. The regulation was originally established under the Civil Aviation Administration and re-codified into 14 CFR in 1962. Since that time, neither the regulation, nor the subject areas it dictates be taught, have significantly changed. During the same time, the design regulations mandating the standards to which a civil aviation article must be certificated and maintained have changed innumerable times. These changes have enhanced safety significantly; they also mandate more sophistication and knowledge in maintenance personnel.
Everyone agrees the rule needs revising. A 2003 Government Accountability Report (GAO) report called for updates to curriculum requirements, recognizing that certificated programs do "not fully prepare A&P mechanics to work on commonly flown, technologically advanced commercial aircraft,” and that “today’s modern aircraft require A&P mechanics to have a different set of skills than those being taught at aviation maintenance technician schools.” An Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, made up of industry and FAA representatives, issued a December 2008 report with specific recommendations to update static minimum curriculum requirements dictated in part 147.
Since then, ATEC has been at the forefront of the demand for change. In November 2015, the FAA issued a part 147 notice of proposed rulemaking. ATEC submitted extensive comments, calling for a less-prescriptive rule that would allow for competency-based programs and the freedom to cater training to industry needs. ATEC’s position was supported by 14 aviation organizations, discouraging the NPRM’s continued reliance on class time at the expense of technical capability. To continue the momentum, ATEC representatives held face-to-face meetings, submitted supplemental comments and garnered legislative support for a rule that would provide better trained personnel to meet industry workforce needs.
During roughly the same period of time, an FAA-industry working group undertook a massive effort to improve airframe & powerplant (A&P) mechanic certification testing. The Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Airman Certification Standards (ACS) will replace current practical test standards (PTS), and clearly define minimum knowledge and skill requirements for A&P mechanics. Once completed, the ACS will provide the framework for the written, oral and practical mechanic tests; and subsequently, a guide for revising handbooks, oral questions, practical projects and the knowledge test bank. That means outdated questions and projects will be replaced with relevant assessment material, and incorrect, incomplete or inadequate questions and projects will be updated or removed.
Promulgation of the new part 147 and AMT ACS development couldn’t be more perfectly timed. The new rule will utilize operations specifications in lieu of static curriculum requirements; industry’s hope is that those operations specifications will simply reference the ACS, ensuring that training and testing are directly correlated. What’s more, the joint FAA-industry committee will periodically review and update ACS standards to ensure it is in line with mechanic knowledge and skill requirements as technology evolves. And, under a new rule allowing for competency-based programs, AMTS can focus on ensuring a student can demonstrate required knowledge, skills and attitudes (as defined in the ACS!), instead of required training hours.
ATEC Treasurer and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Associate Professor and Department Chairman Chuck Horning has volunteered hundreds of hours to help usher through the new generation of regulations and standards, “We have an incredible opportunity right now that probably won’t happen again. We started this initiative hoping for a rule change and never dreamed we would have the opportunity to improve the testing process. Now we have the chance to do both and have all the pieces of the puzzle fit like they should.”
ATEC will continue to engage with the agency and congressional leaders to support timely promulgation and smooth implementation. The council will also ensure its member schools have the tools and resources required for a successful transition; webinars, curriculum guides, tools and resources are in development. Take advantage of all ATEC has to offer, and support the council's workforce development efforts, by ensuring your membership is current.
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.