In a letter to leaders of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, 29 organizations urged that legislation to create a new aviation maintenance workforce development program be included the Senate’s FAA reauthorization package.
The workforce bill, S. 2506, was introduced in March by a bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). It would create a new grant program administered by the FAA to attract and train the next generation of aviation technical workers. Twenty-one senators have cosponsored S. 2506. A parallel House bill (H.R. 5701) introduced by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), has 16 cosponsors.
The July 20 letter was coordinated by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association and signed by 28 allied organizations representing maintainers, airlines, manufacturers, business and general aviation, schools, labor and communities with significant aviation sectors.
FAA legislation is expected on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
BOEING: As new generation airplanes become more prominent in the global fleet, advances in airplane technology will drive an increased need for technicians skilled in avionics, composites, and digital troubleshooting.
Mobile and distance learning solutions are becoming increasingly popular as a flexible alternative to traditional classroom instruction, and new technologies such as augmented reality are being tested as a way to improve engagement and knowledge retention. As airlines continually invest to improve the quality and efficiency of their operations, new training curriculums and methodologies will need to be adopted to keep pace with innovation.
The need for maintenance personnel is largest in the Asia Pacific region, which will require 257,000 new technicians. Airlines in North America will require 189,000, Europe 132,000, the Middle East 66,000, Latin America 55,000, Africa 28,000, and Russia / Central Asia 27,000.
As ATEC members well know, the FAA is in the process of replacing the Aviation Mechanic General, Airframe, and Powerplant Practical Test Standards (PTS) with a single Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Airman Certification Standard (ACS).
This past spring, the agency published a draft version of the AMT ACS so stakeholders could familiarize themselves with the new document and provide feedback. At the June ACS working group meeting, committee members reviewed and incorporated the feedback. The latest rendition of the draft testing standard is available on the Airman Certification Standards issue page.
Until the standard is officially published, scheduled for June 2020, the AMT PTS (FAA-S-8081-26A, -27A, -28A) remains in effect; and applicants, instructors and evaluators should continue to use those documents for the oral and practical tests.
Stakeholders are welcome to submit feedback on the new draft document to email@example.com.
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.