In a Jan. 16 letter, the council invited the "new" Administrator to join aviation education leaders at its upcoming Annual Conference in Fort Worth. In its communication, ATEC set forth the following regulatory priorities for aviation maintenance education:
1. Promulgate a New Part 147. Part 147 is currently undergoing rulemaking, and has been for the last several years. It is of the upmost importance to ATEC stakeholders that the FAA modernize aviation maintenance technician school curriculum so that schools are able to better align training with industry workforce needs. ATEC made significant comment to the 2015 NPRM and the 2019 SNPRM in an effort to influence development of a performance-based rule that will support the aviation industry for decades to come. It is also pushing for a legislative fix through recent introduction of the PARTT 147 Act.
2. Publish Mechanic Airman Certification Standards (ACS). ATEC representatives have been heavily involved in an FAA-industry working group that is developing the new testing standard and accompanying system that will revolutionize how our future aviators are taught and tested. ATEC encouraged the agency to work with the administration to get the standard published as soon as possible. In its deployment of the new testing system, ATEC reiterated its request that the agency use the ACS as the basis for training requirements, to ensure training and testing are correlated, and efficiencies attained.
3. Expand Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) to Mechanic Examinations. Currently, 30 percent of A&P school graduates do not take the exam necessary to receive a mechanic certificate; access to practical testing examiners was identified as one of the top barriers for students seeking FAA mechanic certification. ATEC therefore fully supports expansion of the ODA program to cover practical testing.
Administrator Steve Dickson was sworn in as the FAA administrator by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on August 12, after being confirmed for a five-year term by the U.S. Senate on July 24, 2019. ATEC looks forward to working with Mr. Dickson's office in the years to come.
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.