This month, the FAA notified the public of changes made to the written test bank (as further explained in revised sample exams and the latest "what's new" document).
The FAA, in collaboration with industry representatives, are currently reviewing the knowledge test bank to ensure correlation with imminent Mechanic Airman Certification Standards. Through an exam review board "boarding" process, some questions in the test bank have been edited, removed, or archived.
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 ACS working group to ensure a documented and transparent process for creating, vetting and revising test bank questions. The FAA is currently utilizing the ACS to review and edit the test bank. ATEC Treasurer and Embry-Riddle University Aviation Maintenance Science Department Chairman Chuck Horning is the industry representative on that review board.
Members are encouraged to provide feedback on student experiences while the test bank undergoes revision to coincide with the new ACS. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next FAA test change is expected in January 2020.
RACCA’s annual scholarship program is now open for applications. The scholarships aredesigned to help aspiring pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs) and airline managers pursue their careers.
“Affording an aviation education is increasingly difficult and our members and associate members are dedicated to ensuring there is funding available,” said President Stan Bernstein. “In recent years, we have helped students pursue AMT careers, airline management and pilots.
Providing scholarships to deserving young people interested in a career in aviation is one of the most important efforts RACCA undertakes each year. The RACCA Aviation Scholarships were established for the purpose of promoting and assisting in pursuing aviation as a career choice and to make students aware of the opportunities in the air cargo industry.”
RACCA, representing 50 air cargo carriers, many of which feed the FedEx, DHL and UPS networks, provides scholarships to assist in the payment of tuition, flight training, or to obtain new or additional licenses. The organization makes several awards each year in November.
Bernstein noted flying for a RACCA carrier is a valuable way to build flying time because it gives pilots experience in flying on a schedule, inclement weather, dealing with inflight and procedural issues surrounding cargo as well as night flying, operating in busy airspace, cockpit resource management issues and required record keeping, all of which are part of airline operations.
To qualify for the scholarships, applicants must be:
· A college student currently enrolled in an accredited aviation program.
· A resident of the United States.
· Currently carry a Grade Point Average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Scholarship # 1 will carry the additional requirement of obtaining a letter of introduction from an existing RACCA member or RACCA associate member since the goal is for candidates to learn about the air cargo industry. If there is a RACCA member or associate member in a candidate’s immediate area, candidates should arrange to visit their operation and become familiar with all the opportunities in the growing air cargo industry. If there is no member close, candidates should call a member and tell them who they are and ask questions about the air cargo industry.
The deadline for applications is October 15, 2019 and the selection will be made by November 30 each year and distributed on December 15 to an accredited school.
The RACCA Aviation Scholarship application is available on the RACCA website.
The House Appropriations Committee approved $5 million in workforce development for in FY20 for two programs that were part of the FAA Reauthorization legislation. (See latest related story.)
The FY 2020 Transportation, House and Urban Development and related agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill (HR 3163) approved by the House Appropriations Committee on June 4 includes full funding for both the technician workforce development and pilot education programs ($5 million for each).
The report for the T-HUD bill references the grant programs (on page 21) and states that, “The Committee supports increasing the strength and number of aviation professionals who are well-trained and can be relied upon to make air travel safe and efficient. To that end, the Committee provides $5,000,000 for the aviation maintenance technician development program and $5,000,000 for aviation workforce development program.”
While the appropriations bills is an important step towards getting the authorized program funded, members are encouraged to keep the pressure on with congressional leaders. The Aeronautical Repair Station Association is leading a coalition and has created an action center with more information at http://arsa.org/legislative/grant-program-action-center/.
Separate but related, the Building U.S. Infrastructure by Leveraging Demands for Skills (BUILDS) Act (H.R. 2831/S.1517) introduced last month by Reps. Mitchell, Bonamici, Thompson and Langevin and Sens. Kaine and Portman would also provide additional resources for aviation sector workforce development. The legislation authorizes $500 million per year (FY 2020 through FY 2024) for the Department of Labor to make grants to support workforce development in “targeted infrastructure industries”, including aviation. The bill is expected to be a workforce component of whatever infrastructure package might move this Congress. A press release on the bill is here.
Funding to support aviation workforce development is a top legislative priority for ATEC and will be at the forefront of our conversations at the upcoming Fly-In, taking place Sept. 10-13. Registration is open.
For more information on these and other legislative priorities, see the Legislative Tool Kit.
ATEC hosted a regional outreach meeting at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics in Pittsburgh. Twenty-seven aviation industry professionals participated in the event on June 13th. Topics ranged from council initiatives, strategic objects, and how ATEC can provide support to the local aviation maintenance technician education community. The meeting concluded with a tour of the facilities.
Thank you to all those who participated in the meeting:
James Olsen, Federal Aviation Administration
Abbey Hutter, JSfirm, LLC
Ashley Vidale, JSfirm, LLC
Heather Ottenberg, JSfirm, LLC
Joshua Eyring, Kent State University
Maureen McFarland, Kent State University
Kevin Deemer, Kent State University
Bradley Dean Blank, Liberty University
Gary Hoyle, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Pittsburgh
Jason Mongan, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Pittsburgh
Jason Pfarr, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Pittsburgh
Suzanne Markle, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Pittsburgh
Tesha Everitt, SkyWest Airlines
Allen Ray, SkyWest Airlines
Barbara Murray, TransPORTs
Chris Lima, PNC Bank
Mark Thomas, PNC Bank
Crystal Maguire, Aviation Technician Education Council
David Austin, Liberty University
David Franks, Haltec Corp
Jazmine Ward, PSA Airlines
Steven Albaugh PSA Airlines
Mike Scimio, Envoy
Aaron Nightingale, Cape Air
Kevin Dallaire, Piedmont Airlines
Matt Bryant, Republic Airways
Thomas Stordy, Republic Airways
A special thanks to PIA for hosting the event.
Join us for the next outreach meeting in Daytona Beach, followed by Seattle. Register at https://www.atec-amt.org/outreach-meetings.html.
Fourteen trade associations submitted joint comments to the part 147 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, delivering a powerful message of unity and support for technician education.
The coalition echoed comments previously submitted by ATEC, asking the agency to reconsider prescriptive terms, and pushing for an outcomes-based approach to regulatory oversight. The group reiterated the need for a simplified approach to dual enrollment programs and deference to Department of Education requirements for matters concerning the quality of education.
"Fixing 147 is an industry imperative," the letter said. "Handicapping our schools burdens both graduates and employers. Give us the flexible and dynamic rule needed to ensure we can educate the future workforce by the best means necessary."
In addition to ATEC, the following organizations signed the letter:
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Aerospace Maintenance Council
Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Airlines for America®
Cargo Airline Association
International Air Transport Association
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
National Business Aviation Association
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association
Read the joint comments here: www.regulations.gov/document?D=FAA-2015-3901-0132.
In a June 12 submission, ATEC voiced its feedback to the latest FAA rulemaking regarding aviation maintenance technician schools.
The comments, a committee-run work product that took three months and more than ten conference calls to create, push back on what the council says would create an overly-prescriptive system and stifle an already inadequate mechanic pipeline.
The submission calls for FAA deference in all matters concerning the quality of education, an element that falls squarely in the Department of Education's (ED) purview. As further explained in the comments, "Higher institutions of learning are overseen by accreditors that ensure educational outcomes are achieved through annual audits and regular oversight. The agency’s proposals duplicate—and often contradict—these accreditation requirements."
The council also reiterated it's plea for an outcomes-based approach, one that would utilize new mechanic airman certification standards as the basis for curriculum, and negate the need for the agency to micromanage schools through curriculum approvals and hour requirements.
Finally, the council offered an alternative to the satellite system proposal set forth in the supplement. It suggests a simplified approach that would allow AMTS to include "additional fixed locations" on their operations specs, consistent with processes for other air agencies. The familiar scheme would allow schools to provide content at local high schools and support dual enrollment programs, so long as the "additional fixed location" met the requirements of part 147. Indeed, as the council stated in its comments, the agency could implement this opportunity even before a formal rule change.
Read the council's comments in their entirety by clicking on the button below.
The trade association highly recommends that the community provide feedback on the recent supplemental proposal. Comments are due Monday, June 17.
To aid those efforts, the council has created two templates--one for AMTS and one for industry--to facilitate meaningful feedback.
It is important to note that submission of the "form letters" provided below do not count as a "vote" for or against the proposal. ATEC's intention is for the community to provide real-world examples that support the positions set forth in the council's comment submission.
Instructions for submitting comment:
Submit an abstract to be considered for presentation at the ATEC Annual Conference research roundtable breakout.
The purpose of the research roundtable is to provide a forum for ATEC members to share their research. This roundtable is designed to encourage research collaboration, generate interest in aviation maintenance-related research, and encourage journal submissions to the ATEC Journal. Additionally, educators who require publications and presentations for tenure or promotion can use this as an opportunity to satisfy some of the requirements. Presenters will be selected based on abstract submissions as further outlined below.
Abstract submission requirements
Abstract review and selection
The abstract is due on November 1, 2019. The review committee will select the abstracts for presentation by November 15, 2019.
The one-hour conference breakout session will comprise of multiple presentations from the abstracts selected by the review committee.
For questions and/or comments, contact the roundtable moderator, Daniel H. Siao at Daniel.Siao@mtsu.edu.
To brief the community on the particulars on the recent Federal Aviation Administration Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 147 Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), and to assist stakeholders with their own comments (due June 17, 2019), the council held an online webinar on May 30. The recorded version is available for free to all members of the community.
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.