With the passage of the full $10 million funding for aviation workforce grants, the aviation industry, won a significant victory earlier this week. The aviation maintenance and pilot grant programs will each be funded at $5,000,000 per year in the FY 2020 budget which began October 1, reflecting the importance Congress puts on aviation workforce issues.
Passage resulted from work done by a 40-member state and national aviation coalition, led by ARSA and including ATEC.
The technician program supports a wide variety of aviation maintenance workforce development recruitment and training activities. Grants of up to $500,000 may be used to:
The maintenance grant program was designed to facilitate public-private collaboration and innovation. In order to be eligible, a grant application must be supported by an aviation business or union, a school and a governmental entity.
Duncan Aviation, Bombardier, Collins Aerospace and Piper Aircraft are all on the leading edge of a new trend in aviation education and hiring by launching apprenticeship programs with local schools to help fill the workforce shortages they are experiencing.
Apprenticeships have been a valuable way to bring in new talent abroad but not so in the US and was a major recommendation during the FAA Workforce Summit held earlier this year.
Just 21% of companies responding to AvWeek’s 2019 Workforce Study survey have apprenticeship programs but that is expected to increase by 10% in the coming year. With 94% of interns offered full-time jobs and an 88% acceptance rate, apprenticeships are becoming an important workforce source.
Duncan Aviation recently rolled out its Airframe Technician Apprenticeship Program during National Apprenticeship Week.
The announcement of Duncan’s program follows a similar announcement Collins Aerospace is partnering with Coast Alabama Community College to create aviation maintenance technician apprenticeships at its aerostructures facility in Foley. The four-to-seven-year program includes on-the-job training, college credit toward an associate’s degree in airframe technology and an FAA airframe license.
“The aviation industry is currently seeing a workforce shortage for qualified aircraft technicians as the number of retiring certified Airframe Technicians is higher than the number of young adults expressing interest in the field of aircraft mechanics,” explained Chair Todd Duncan.
With 7.2 million job openings in the United States, apprenticeships are industry-driven, high-quality career pathways in which employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and transferable credentials, said the Department of Labor (DoL) which has an apprenticeship website with guidance for developing such programs.
Apprenticeships provide on-the-job training that gives participants a clear career path and national credential from the DoL through an earn-as-you-learn program. Duncan Aviation has offered apprenticeships, or full-time careers that include on-the-job training and instruction, to interested candidates for the last few years. By on-boarding new team members as Tech Helpers, experienced technicians would offer guidance and on-the-job training. Read more.
The Association of Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM) founded a new chapter for members in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Designed to encourage pursuit of aviation maintenance as a career the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter 16 was founded by United Airlines Senior Manager Airframe & Overhaul Kim Pritchard and two United Airlines colleagues Marilyn Adkins and Keri Martin who inaugurated the new chapter with a pre-holiday Happy Hour on December 5.
“Our AWAM chapter is committed to continuing to work hard on outreach for the under-represented, and to encourage females to pursue STEM-based positions,” said Pritchard. “Chapter officers are developing 2020’s calendar of events. In honor of our New Chapter 16 – “Sweet 16 we are offering a discount of only $16 for 2020 to enjoy all the benefits of membership – networking, free skill-building workshops, family and member social activities, community volunteerism, and much more!”
Chapter 16 has also launched a Facebook page and wants to spread the word to build membership.
Beginning January 13, 2020, the FAA will launch improvements to the way it tests airman certificate applicants and affects. This information pertains to ASI’s, ASI’s with TPE and DPE oversite, as well as the TPE’s, and DPE’s.
Any applicant wishing to take any Airmen Knowledge Test (AKT) for any of the airmen certificates (Mechanic, Inspection Authorization, Parachute Rigger, and any Pilot certificate) will be required to have an 8-digit FAA Tracking Number (FTN) prior to taking the test.
The FTN, which replaces the applicant ID number, is unique and permanent number assigned to each registered user in the FAA’s Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system.
It is up to the applicant to obtain an FTN and information and instructions on obtaining a FTN can be found on the FAA’s Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system website where applicants will need to register.
Applicants for FAA certificates such as Mechanic, Parachute Rigger, Dispatcher, etc. that do not yet have an electronic certification path in IACRA will continue to use the paper application forms. For those certificate types, IACRA is only used for obtaining an FTN prior to registering for an airman knowledge test. There are also instructions for those who have lost their AKTR test results. For all knowledge tests taken before January 13, 2020, applicants must contact the FAA Airmen Certification Office (AFB-720) for copies of AKTRs.
As previously reported, the FAA will host four webinars, two on Thursday, Dec. 19, and two on Wednesday, Jan. 8, to explain the new testing system, including the FTN requirement. The FAA notice on the changes can be found here.
December 12, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Crystal Maguire, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-548-2030
JENKS, Oklahoma – Today, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives issued bipartisan, bicameral legislation that, if signed into law, would modernize long-outdated maintenance training regulations and better aid the education community in supporting America’s growing aviation industry.
The Promoting Aviation Regulations for Technical Training (PARTT) 147 Act (S.3043/H.R.5427) would direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to replace current training requirements with a new, community-drafted regulation that would establish a performance-based oversight system. Under the new law, aviation maintenance technician schools certificated and governed by Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 147, would have the flexibility to teach content that is reflective of today’s high-tech environment.
Senators James Inhofe (R-OK), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) and Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Cheri Bustos (D-IL) are original co-sponsors of the PARTT 147 Act.
“Innovation in the aviation and aviation maintenance industries has led to safer and more efficient aircraft. However, outdated regulations have prevented schools from implementing modern curriculum to teach students the skills necessary to maintain and repair modern, sophisticated aircraft,” Inhofe said. “I am proud to introduce this legislation today which would empower schools with the flexibility to teach core curriculum reflective of the technical advances happening across the aviation and aerospace industry, would reduce restrictive government regulations, and would ensure schools are graduating successful students into productive mechanics on the flight line or maintenance floor.”
“When it comes to transportation, Alaska’s unique geography can present many challenges. Aviation is one of the most important means of traveling our state, and the demand for air travel requires a strong workforce of both aviators and the mechanics who support them,” said Young. “Current FAA regulations mandate a particular curriculum for maintenance technicians, but this curriculum has not been meaningfully updated in more than five decades. The PARTT 147 Act is a fix that is long overdue.”
“The new regulation would be a game changer for aviation programs,” said Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics Director of Campus Operations and ATEC President Gary Hoyle. “Industry has been asking for an updated regulation for 15 years. It is past time for our community to be given the opportunity and flexibility to create programs that better meet demand for highly-skilled technical personnel. We applaud the leadership and willingness of our congressional representatives to further escalate the issue and provide long-awaited relief from prescriptive requirements.”
An overwhelming number of aviation stakeholders signed on to a letter in support of the PARTT 147 Act, including--
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Aerospace Industries Association
Aerospace Maintenance Council
Aircraft Electronics Association
Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Airlines for America
Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance
Aviation Suppliers Association
Aviation Technician Education Council
Experimental Aircraft Association
General Aviation Manufacturers Association
International Air Transport Association
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Modification and Replacement Parts Association
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
National Business Aviation Association
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association
The Aviation Mechanics Coalition
The stakeholder support letter can be found here.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
An ATEC one-pager on the issue can be found here.
For more information about industry’s work to modernize part 147, including resources and a timeline of events, visit www.atec-amt.org/part-147.
About ATEC: ATEC is a partnership of aviation maintenance training schools and employers. The council is dedicated to promoting and supporting technician education through its communications, advocacy programs and networking events. To learn more, visit www.atec-amt.org.
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.