With 11 million jobs and $1.6 trillion in annual economic activity, the aviation industry is a key economic driver, an aviation coalition noted in its letter to the Senate Transportation, Housing & Urban Development (T-HUD) Chair Susan Collins and Ranking Member Jack Reed, urging full funding for the aviation grant programs dedicated to the education of pilots and aviation maintenance technicians.
The grant programs, authorized by the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, sets aside $5,000 per year for each of the two grant initiatives. The coalition urged Collins to make full funding a part of the 2021 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. It also dispatched a letter to House T-HUD Chair David Price and Ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart thanking them for including the grant funding in their 2020 bill and urging continued support for the programs as they deliberate the 2021 funding bill.
“Today, the aviation industry faces a dire shortage of trained pilots, aviation technicians and other professionals necessary to fly, maintain, and repair commercial, recreational and military aircraft,” said the letter which is enthusiastically supported by ATEC. “These shortages come at a time when demand for new pilots and mechanics is rising due to increased consumer demand for air travel, new aircraft are entering the global fleet, and the current aviation workforce reaches retirement age.”
The coalition of more than 40 aviation organizations noted the grants promote public-private sector collaboration between businesses, labor organizations, schools, and governmental entities to pursue innovative strategies to give young people an accessible career path in aviation as a pilot or professional technician and to develop a 21st Century aviation workforce. The coalition also said the programs will empower communities to engage directly in workforce development efforts, encouraging local investment and job growth.
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.