Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21), at ATEC and member Hallmark University's prodding, sent a congressional inquiry asking for an update on the Federal Aviation Administration's rulemaking efforts for part 147, the regulation that governs operations and curriculum requirements for aviation maintenance technician schools.
In his letter, Rep. Smith states: "Part 147 is long overdue for modernization. Schools certificate under the current regulation are mandated by law to teach skills that do not add to the preparation of students pursuing high-tech aviation jobs. Any further delays in modernization will detrimentally affect students and industry." The congressman goes on to request that the agency respond with an expected promulgation date.
This is the second such inquiry made on behalf of the aviation community. Last February, Representatives Tom Rice (S.C.) and Jim Bridenstine (Okla.) sent a letter asking the FAA to make the rulemaking its highest priority. An FAA response stated that was indeed the case, and that the agency is committed to "delivering regulation that encompasses new technology and remains flexible to grow and adapt with the industry."
Update: On Aug. 29, 2017, the FAA responded to Smith's inquiry, stating that "several commentators suggested expanding the scope of [the] proposal to allow for competency-based training and satellite facilities... Because these two topics were not proposed in the NPRM, the FAA is required by law to publish a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) seeking public comment. We expect the SNPRM to be ready for publication later this fall, along with a draft Advisory Circular 147-3... The FAA is aware of the importance of the AMTS rule and will make every effort to expedite its issuance."
Council activities are ramping up in anticipation of new airman certification standards and a revised part 147. The webinar provides an overview of potential changes, tips on how to prepare, and access to practical resources so schools and companies alike can start planning now. Opportunities are available for all stakeholders to help ensure aviation maintenance technician school curriculum adequately prepares the future workforce.
All members receive free access to the recorded version, available in the ATEC Webinar Library.
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 is using the latest version to review and edit the A&P knowledge test bank. Additional edits will be made to the ACS as that process moves forward; in the meantime, industry is still encouraged to download, review, and submit comment on the latest version (preferably via tracked changes in Microsoft Word).
NC3, in partnership with Snap-on, Daniels Manufacturing Corp, ATI, Sioux, Starrett and Wichita Area Techical College, will provide a select line of certification courses in Wichita, Sept. 25-28. The following opportunities are available:
ATEC is initiating a grassroots campaign to garner legislative support for expeditious issuance of the new part 147. To support those efforts, ATEC contributed an opinion article to a leading political publication, The Hill. The piece highlights the ever-growing need for a modernized regulation governing aviation maintenance technician training. It will be used to educate lawmakers on the issue during the council's annual Fly-In, held each year in Washington DC.
Read and share the article, found here: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/transportation/345631-aviation-struggles-with-50-year-old-maintenance-training
A new edition of the Aviation Instructor’s Handbook (FAA-H-8083-9B) was presented to the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Airman Certification Standards (ACS) working group for review and comment. While the FAA did not distribute the draft for public comment, members are invited to provide comment through ATEC for consideration by the working group. The draft is available here.
Members of the AMT sub-working group pointed out that while the publication is applicable to maintenance instructors (as stated in the lead-in paragraph), examples and illustrations in the text are all operations focused. Working group member and Florida State Florida State College at Jacksonville Program Manager David Dagenais believes “the AMT instructor community will embrace the handbook more readily if content focuses on the unique qualities of multi-student instruction in a classroom or shop environment.”
ATEC members are therefore invited to contribute sample examples, illustrations or other suggestions that would enhance the handbook’s value to the maintenance educator community.
Comments are due to ATEC by August 24.
In response to ATEC’s growth and increased need for industry engagement, earlier this year directors revised council bylaws to allow for more industry participation on the board of directors. Increasing from three to five seats, the opportunity is available for representatives of general aviation companies, business aviation companies, airlines, manufacturers, rotorcraft companies and repair stations.
Board composition currently consists of nine part 147 school representatives (including public and private, proprietary and not-for profit, four-year and two-year institutions) and three private sector representatives (including a repair station, manufacturer and the media).
Given the recent bylaw revision, the board is holding a special director election at the upcoming ATEC Fly-in.
Positions are available for representatives of both industry and part 147 schools. Nominations will be accepted through Aug. 15. For more information on qualification requirements and to submit a nomination, visit the Board Nomination page.
The Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM) is now accepting applications for 2018 scholarship and award programs. Application packets must be postmarked by November 1, 2017.
AWAM’s Scholarship Program supports the diverse skills required in the field of Aviation Maintenance & Technology. AWAM began its scholarship program in 2002 with four scholarships awarded to eight recipients. In 2017, AWAM awarded over $185,000 in scholarships to 21 females and 9 males.
Scholarship opportunities are not just for initial students or women. Many are for those already working in the field, transitioning from the military, and for men as well. For more information visit https://www.awam.org/scholarships/.
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.