A notice in today's Federal Register solicits comment on the collection of information from eligible entities by the FAA to select and oversee grant recipients, an important step towards implementation of the aviation technician workforce and pilot education grant programs created by last year’s FAA bill. The notices (there is also a notice for the pilot program) are related to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and provide an estimate of the reporting burden for grant applicants and recipients.
While the action does not formally initiate the grant programs, they suggest FAA is moving in the right direction.
However, Congress has yet to appropriate the necessary FY 2020 money FAA needs to implement the programs. As previously reported, the FY 2020 House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD) bill contains full funding for both ($10 million total - $5 million each). The Senate’s T-HUD package contains partial funding ($5 total). The most recent appropriations continuing resolution expires on Dec. 20, so the next few weeks will be crucial in determining final FY 2020 spending levels.
ATEC is asking the community to continue asking Congress and FAA to fully fund and initiate these important grant programs. Advocacy resources (including our most recent coalition letter to Congress) are available on the Aeronautical Repair Station Association website at at http://arsa.org/legislative/grant-program-action-center/.
The Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), with a tradition of excellence in education over four decades, has 13 campuses nationwide where the job placement rate for the 4,100 students averages 72%. Its graduates have been hired by such important industry players as JetBlue, Delta, United and Southwest as well as GE, AAR and Dallas Airmotive.
AIM has been an ATEC member for over a decade with its top educational administrators active in on committees and the ATEC board. AIM is "co-hosting" the 2020 conference in Fort Worth, providing day-to-day coordination support and hosting attendees at its Irving location for a tour and lunch.
“Being a part of our industry’s educationally-related organization is a responsibility of schools and allows us a vantage point for new regulations being adopted by the FAA,” said AIM Vice President Operations Joel English, who serves on ATEC’s board. “We actually have the opportunity to influence the FAA’s thinking about Part 147 regulation as members of the FAA attend our meetings and interact with us and understand the innovations at the schools. Without schools pitching in with their membership dues, ATEC would never be able to be at the table with the FAA, and all parties would miss out on this special relationship.”
English views the ATEC’s annual conference as one of the industry’s most important events because it enables the collaboration of schools, practitioners, employers and regulatory agencies to develop innovative solutions on what Part 147 training will look like in the future. The Career Fair provides a critical opportunity to match the talents of graduates to fill employer’s needs and address the critical shortage in the industry.
Founded with the goal of supplying training materials for aviation maintenance educators, AVOTEK has been an ATEC member for more than 30 years.
“The importance of the work done by ATEC means schools, the companies supporting the schools, and the companies hiring maintenance technicians should all be supporting the efforts of ATEC,” said Avotek’s Jeff Strong, recounting why Avotek is such a strong supporter of the organization. “Recent history has shown that ATEC is fighting for this industry's needs, all the way to Capitol Hill, and we are proud to be a part of that effort.”
During next year’s annual conference, Avotek will showcase its education materials designed to help educators prepare students for careers in the aviation maintenance industry. These include its recently released books: Avionics: Beyond the AET, Advanced Composites, Helicopter Maintenance, and Transport Category Aircraft Systems. In addition, it will showcase its latest online courses. Those include Slick Magnetos, J34 Turbojet Engines, Vapor Cycle Air Conditioning System, Bernoulli’s Principle and Principles of Sound.
In speaking of the annual conference, Strong said: “This is the one event where we can meet with the largest percentage of our customers in the same place at the same time. For our type of business, this is the best of all worlds. We love to catch up with our customers (and potential customers) to hear about their successes and what challenges they are facing. This informs us of what support we can offer to help, whether it be classroom trainers, textbooks, or online courses.”
Last week, ATEC announced that congressional leaders were gearing up to introduce legislation that would direct the FAA to promulgate very specific, community-drafted language in place of the current 14 CFR part 147.
The initiative stems from proposed language ATEC offered in its comments to the recent FAA part 147 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM). If signed into law, provisions would require FAA deference in all matters concerning quality of education and set forth a performance-based infrastructure whereby schools would utilize emerging airman certification standards as the basis for their curriculum.
Click on the image below and listen to the recorded version of the live briefing, which took place Nov. 19, 2019. (Things may have changed by the time you hear it!). You may also download the slide deck here.
ATEC members can access the full suite of pre-recorded webinars at www.atec-amt.org/webinars.
ATEC is supporting new legislation that is part of an effort to address workforce shortages and increase diversity. Promoting Service in Transportation Act (HR 5118) – would create public service campaigns to raise awareness of aviation and other transportation careers.
Introduced by Reps. Rick Larsen (D-WA), Don Young (R-AK) and Angie Craig (D-MN), the legislation specifically called out such careers as aviation maintenance technicians, pilots, safety inspectors, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, mechanics, engineers, and other transportation professionals.”
We urge our members to contact your representatives asking them to support this important initiative.
The bill is supported by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), Transport Workers Union (TWU), Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) and the Helicopter Association International (HAI).
In this issue: Read about a mixed method study on the implementation of an aviation maintenance camp and how to incorporate recordkeeping requirements into the classroom. Learn more about Westfield Technical Academy's unique program that provides high school students the qualifications needed to take the A&P test.
Update: After the Senate passed the FY 2020 appropriates package for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies, which included only $5 million in funding for both the pilot and AMT grant programs, a coalition of aviation organizations, including ATEC, sent a letter to congressional leaders urging adoption of the House-passed bill affording $5 million for pilot training and $5 million for AMT training, as called for in the FAA reauthorization. Read the letter.
With last week’s passage of the FY 2020 appropriates package for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies, the workforce grant programs moves forward but at half the funding level called for in the FAA reauthorization, which prescribed $5 million for maintenance grants and $5 million for pilot grants. The Senate bill calls for $5 million for both the maintenance and pilot grant programs. House and Senate conferees must now gather to determine the amount of funding for the two programs in the final conference report/appropriations bill.
An industry coalition – consisting of 42 aviation organizations, including ATEC – will shortly be sending a letter to House and Senate appropriators urging full funding. While the coalition acknowledges Senate passage as a step in the right direction, it urged everyone to get involved in ensuring appropriators know the importance of these grant programs especially given the vagaries of the FY 2020 appropriations process.
For more information, see the previous news post, AMT, Pilot Programs May Fall Short, or download the legislative issues one-pager on the Legislative advocacy page.
After forecasting the need for 640,000 new technicians over the next 20 years, Airbus is partnering with Snap-on to train the next generation of technicians preparing high school seniors for careers in aviation.
The nine-month program, which also includes partnerships with L.S. Starrett Co. and Daniels Manufacturing Co., is initially geared toward Alabama high school seniors providing a connection between schools and Airbus’ manufacturing plant in Mobile. The Snap-on certifications enable students to master tool usage skills and hands-on knowledge of such disciplines as precision measuring instruments, precision electrical termination, structural sheetmetal assembly, mechanical and electronic torque, multimeter and tools at height.
Snap-on certification courses emphasize tool theory, application, and usage: three areas of study that equip students with an essential foundation for proficiency, productivity, and safety. The certifications provide conformity to an established standard and will be integrated into the existing course curriculum being taught by FlightPath9, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Airbus instructors.
“We partnered with Snap-on because Airbus uses Snap-on tools in the U.S. Manufacturing Facility, and it had already developed these certifications for the aviation industry,” said Michelle Hurdle, director of economic and community development, Airbus Americas. “It’s a good match for the students in the training program who will join the Airbus team upon successful completion of the FlightPath9 program.”
John Gamble, education partnerships manager, Snap-on Industrial agreed. “The partnership Snap-on has with Airbus is a perfect example of the types of collaboration we seek within the aviation industry, helping to create a program that will improve the skills and knowledge of tomorrow’s technicians.”
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.