PAMA, in coordination with a generous industry partner, has made available award opportunities for current and future aviation maintenance professionals.
Award winners will be announced at a special virtual awards ceremony this summer.
Future AMT Professional Award, provided by PistonPower™ by AEPC™ (AeroEngine Protection Corp.)
This $1,000 award is provided to current or recent aviation maintenance students. Monetary Awards may be used towards the purchase of tools, tuition or other education-related expenses.
ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire recently joined the team at Jet Blast, an aviation podcast, to discuss upcoming changes to regulations governing aviation maintenance technical education. Check out season 2, episode 10, on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Thanks to Lee, Andy, and Nathan for inviting us to tell our story, and for providing such an excellent source of information for the business aviation community.
On April 2, the Dept. of Transportation issued a final rule revoking a Dec. 27, 2019 rulemaking entitled "Administrative Rulemaking, Guidance, and Enforcement Procedures" (84 FR 71714). That rule made changes to 49 CFR part 5, the regulation that sets forth procedures for agency rulemaking and guidance documents, and effectively halted publication of FAA airman certification standards (ACS). (See related story.)
The move received broad praise by aviation groups, who saw the regulatory changes implemented in 2019 as impediments to progress since the aviation industry is perhaps uniquely dependent on routine agency updates to guidance and standards to ensure the safety organization is able to keep up as industry evolves.
In a letter praising the move, industry representatives called for quick implementation of the mandate, which the group cited as an important step forward to reestablish a process for ongoing ACS publication and revision.
..."[T]he Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) process used to create and publish current ACS has proven an efficient, effective, and transparent means to manage these standards," said the industry group. "Methods in place provide opportunity for public comment and stakeholder collaboration and continued systematic alignment between regulations, guidance, and testing. This process also preserves the flexibility needed to ensure that certification standards can be regularly revised in a timely way, to support advances in technology."
Imminent part 147 reforms are dependent on the mechanic ACS publication--the new interim final rule directed by congress will require aviation maintenance technical schools to align curriculums with the new standard. Thus, once published, the ACS will not only direct changes to the written, oral, and practical mechanic tests, but also part 147 curriculums.
Previous ATEC webinars have set forth steps the community can take now as it awaits publication of the new rule and certification standard. Most recently, a slate of school representatives shared the results of their respective "gap analysis," identifying shortcoming between their current curriculums (driven by part 147), and future curriculums (driven by the ACS). Hear about their findings and what changes they intend on implementing once the new rule is promulgated--a recorded version of the March 30 webinar and others are available on the new part 147 issue page.
May 11, 2021
1:00 - 2:30 pm CDT
How much will it cost to start a certificate aviation program? What equipment will I need? What funding opportunities are available? What are the regulatory requirements? Get answers to these questions and more from a panel of experts with years of experience administering part 147 programs.
Members, use the member password as the discount code for free registration. Don't know the password? Email us at email@example.com.
April 22nd, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT
Get a brief from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials on two programs that engage academia in the agency’s efforts to further integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace system.
The UAS-Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) is a network of educational institutions that prepare students for careers in UAS. Launched on April 30, 2020, the initiative engages educational institutions in continuous dialogue with industry, local government, law enforcement, and regional economic development stakeholders to address labor force needs in this rapidly growing industry.
The FAA UAS Center of Excellence – the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) – is comprised of 15 of the world's leading research institutions, led by Mississippi State University, along with eight affiliate universities. These institutions perform research on behalf of the agency that focus in areas critical to safe and successful integration of drones into the nation's airspace.
Alina George, Program Analyst, UAS Office of Safety and Integration, FAA
Diana Robinson, Project Specialist, UAS Office of Safety and Integration, FAA
Stephen P. Luxion, Col (Ret) ‘LUX”, Executive Director, ASSURE FAA Center of Excellence for UAS
Roanoke, Texas (April 7, 2021) JSfirm.com, an aviation job website, released their Hiring Trends Survey for 2021. Of the hiring professionals, executives, and business owners surveyed, over 50% are projecting growth in 2021. Additionally, 66% of those surveyed did not cut any jobs in 2020, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
• 200 aviation companies across various sectors were surveyed
• 50.84% are projecting moderate growth in 2021
• 32.93% expect to hire in the 2nd Quarter (Apr - Jun) of 2021
• Pilots, maintenance & avionics technicians remain in highest demand
Sam Scanlon, Managing Partner of JSfirm.com, said, “The results of our recent survey are encouraging for the industry. It’s interesting to see how many companies were not affected too much by the pandemic: airlines make the headlines, but the fact is, the small to medium size companies that make up the majority of our infrastructure made it through the past year and are now gearing up for growth.” He continued, “Overall traffic on our website continues to increase from both job seekers and companies - we are anxious to see how the remainder of 2021 plays out.”
After 16 years with FAA and more than 55 years as an aviator and maintenance human factors professional, Dr. William Johnson has retired from federal service.
Among his many contributions to the aviation industry, he is the founder of, and a frequent contributor to, the FAA Aviation Mx Human Factors Quarterly. In honor of his tenure, the March issue was dedicated to recognizing Dr. Bill's outstanding contributions to the Quarterly, by reprinting his favorite articles published over the years, including a Dec. 2018 column authored by ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire.
Check out the March 2021 newsletter, and sign up to receive future publications at Check out the March 2021 newsletter, and sign up to receive future publications, at www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/maintenance_hf/fatigue/publications/.
Dr. Bill has been a steadfast supporter of the council and its initiatives. We congratulate him on his "retirement" and look forward to taking part in his next adventure, whatever that may be.
The FAA has assigned the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) a new task to make recommendations on the feasibly of allowing a repairman certificate issued under § 65.101 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to be portable from one employing certificate holder to another.
Establishment of the working group was directed through Congress in 2018. The mandate directs the FAA to assign to ARAC the task of making recommendations with respect to the regulatory and policy changes, as appropriate, to allow a repairman certificate to be more portable from one employing certificate holder to another.
Currently, under § 65.101, individuals employed and recommended by an FAA-certificated repair station or air carrier, may apply for and obtain a repairman certificate allowing supervision and/or approval for return to service of the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration of civil aviation products and articles performed under the auspices of the air carrier or repair station certificate. The repairman certificate differs from a mechanic certificate issued under part 65 subpart D, in that it only qualifies the individual to work under the authority of an air agency repair station or air carrier certificate (i.e., "only in connection with the duties for the certificate holder by whom the repairman was employed and recommended"). When the repairman leaves the employment of the repair station or air carrier, the individual loses the repairman certificate and the individual and the new employer must reapply for another repairman certificate.
The Working Group is asked to provide recommendations on the feasibility of increasing the portability of repairmen certificates across employing certificate holder.
Candidates are required to submit self nominations by April 19.
In a new report, the Government Accountability Office describes devastating impacts to the air transportation sector workforce, and sets forth specific recommendations to support industry recovery.
In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Aviation, GAO Director, Physical Infrastructure Heather Krause cited Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an estimated 122,600 jobs in the air transportation sector (over 23 percent) have been lost since peak employment levels of 516,900 in February 2020. (Numbers do not include activities in airport operations, manufacturing, or repair activities conducted outside an airline.)
"Airlines and airports sought to reduce their payroll expenses by, among other things, offering early retirement and voluntary separation programs, voluntary unpaid leave programs, freezing non-essential hiring, reducing executive and management compensation, and in some cases, involuntary furloughs and layoffs," said Krause. "For example, Delta Air Lines reported that 50,000 employees took unpaid leaves of absence and approximately 18,000 employees participated in its early retirement and voluntary separation programs from April 1 through December 31, 2020. American Airlines reported reducing its management and support staff team by approximately 5,100 positions (30 percent) and that more than 20,000 of its employees opted for an early retirement or long-term paid leave."
Krause cited similar workforce reductions for manufacturers and repair stations, mentioning "one large manufacturer of airplane engines" permanently reducing its global workforce by 25 percent.
The GAO report gives credence to a common concern that the pandemic has accelerated the long-anticipated shortage of key skill sets as aviation businesses reduce employment and skilled technicians migrate to other industries. Testimony made reference to the 2014 GAO report that warned of a coming shortage of aviation professionals as a result of retirements and a perception that fewer people are entering aviation professions, pre-COVID concerns that are likely to compound in a post-pandemic world.
GAO recommends targeted congressional assistance to support the highly skilled aviation workforce through worker retention incentives, aviation workforce retraining, and "efforts to strengthen the pipeline of new applicants for careers in aviation manufacturing and maintenance."
ATEC looks forward to working with Congress to identify new ways to support industry pipeline development efforts, and is spirited by the incredible innovations and ideas this community is proposing through a swarm of FAA grant program applications (due March 22!).
Update: The FAA responded to ATEC's Feb. 25 letter (discussed below), stating that the FAA "is in the process of developing the appropriate course of action that best aligns with the [part 147 directive's] requirements and intent," and that more information would be published in the 2021 Department of Transportation's semi-annual regulatory agenda, expected to be published in the spring. The status of the part 147 rulemaking is set forth on the Office of Management and Budget website, according to the published timetable, a final rule is expected in April.
In a Feb. 25 letter to FAA officials, ATEC went on record setting forth its interpretation of the recent congressional mandate directing FAA to remove and replace the current part 147 with community-drafted language by March 27.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 116-260) directs the FAA to repeal Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 147 and issue interim final regulations, meaning the agency would promulgate the language as written, initially bypassing Administrative Procedures Act notice and comment requirements.
"We would therefore expect and support the agency’s determination that the part 147 interim rule become effective immediately upon publication, with the stipulation that it be subsequently subject to public notice and comment," said the council in its letter. "We also understand that the agency could thereafter make adjustment to the rule if warranted by public comment or notify the public through publication of a final rule that no changes were made to the interim rule."
The letter also addressed the law's directive that part 147 certificate holders align curriculum with emerging airman certification standards (ACS), and maintains that general reference to that standard should not invoke any additional administrative requirements that would further delay ACS publication (see related story) or subject the ACS to APA rulemaking procedures.
Despite our inability to bring the community together in person, the council’s advocacy efforts over the last year yielded remarkable results—the crowning achievement coming in the last few days of 2020 with the inclusion of part 147 reform mandates in the Consolidated Appropriations Act.
The new law requires the FAA to replace long-outdated aviation technical program regulations with a community-drafted, performance-based regulation that will provide opportunity for widespread innovations in aviation technical education.
This coming year, the community is setting its sights on initiatives that will ensure a smooth transition to the new regulatory framework, take advantage of emerging opportunities, and address additional choke points in the workforce pipeline. In the coming year the council will--
Interested in supporting our efforts? Sign up to receive the latest news, volunteer to serve on a committee, join the membership roster.
In 2016, the FAA published its first airman certification standards (ACS) under the watchful eye of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee's Airman Certification System Working Group. The purpose of the ACS is to set forth what an airman applicant must know, say, and do in order to qualify for certification, and act as the bedrock on which FAA testing and guidance materials are based. Since the original ACS was published, six others have followed, all providing knowledge and skill standards for pilot certification.
In 2019, the aviation maintenance community was invited to participate in the the agency's development of the Mechanic Airman Certification Standard. Since that time, ATEC has been steadfast in its continual review and comment on the draft standard, with the understanding that those standards when published would ultimately drive training and curriculum development. Unfortunately, while the draft ACS is near completion, it has joined eleven other ACS in a long line of documents awaiting publication.
The backlog is due to a seeming reinterpretation of the FAA's responsibilities with regard to standards publication. Due to the administration's response to promulgation of a Department of Transportation rulemaking, in 2019, the working group's efforts were brought to a halt.
On Feb. 23, the ACS working group sent a letter, signed by several members of the ATEC community including its executive director Crystal Maguire, urging the agency to publish the long-awaited standards. In its ask, working group members provided a potential solution that would ensure the ACS remains a living, breathing document with the flexibility to adapt testing and training as aviation technologies continue to evolve:
"We submit for your consideration that the ACS is not subject to Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 5 administrative procedures," said working group members. "A common sense approach is that the ACS should not be considered rulemaking or guidance, but instead a framework for internal agency governance of certification processes. Industry will in turn incorporate the ACS knowledge and skill elements in its own training programs because it knows the agency will assess those elements in its FAA-facilitated airman tests."
Publication of the ACS is vital to the aviation education community given an expected interim final rule will require FAA-certificated A&P schools align their curriculums with the ACS. The same week the ACS working group delivered its letter encouraging quick publication of the backlog of ACS, ATEC also sent a letter to FAA officials outlining its expectations with regard to the new part 147 and how it should incorporate those standards (see related story).
Clemson University Center for Workforce Development is seeking AMT students who have been in an
aviation maintenance program since March 2020 to participate in a study.
The goal of this project is to better understand the immediate learning responses to the COVID-19 crisis of two-year colleges with advanced technological education programs in their efforts to maintain academic continuity using digital learning tools such as virtual reality simulations and labs. Participation in this study will involve participating in an interview remotely on Zoom. We expect this interview to last for approximately 1 hour. Participants who complete the interview will receive a thank you gift card.
For more information or to participate in this study, please contact me, Dr. Katie Shakour, the research associate for the study, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last fall, the FAA officially convened the Department of Transportation’s Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force. Appointees have since been collecting information regarding experiences with youth engagement, career development, workforce needs and industry readiness.
To assist in that work, the task force requests assistance gathering input from students in AMTS and any other aviation-specific training programs about the experiences with youth interest in aviation careers.
Please share the following invitation with students in your programs, encouraging feedback that will help turn their decision to develop aviation skills into better industry-wide effort to recruit and develop new talent:
The United States – and world – need more people to pursue careers in aviation. Since you’re on the path already, your experience is invaluable to the industry as it improves recruitment and retention efforts. Please share that experience by completing the following questionnaire, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force. Anything you share will be confidential and will not be seen by your school or instructors. To complete the survey, access the Google Form at: https://forms.gle/x38aRMXxUA6qUEqc7.
The deadline to submit a response is Feb. 28.
Roanoke, Texas (February 2, 2021) - After the global events of 2020 brought aviation hiring to a screeching halt, JSfirm.com says that activity on their website shows aviation hiring is on the rise once again. Not only has job seeker activity shown a marked increase, but the number of companies advertising their openings on the site is also returning to pre-Covid levels.
JSfirm.com has seen an overall increase of 19% in job postings over the last quarter, and January alone has seen a record number of job postings on JSfirm.com, even compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Website traffic on JSfirm.com from job seekers has been on a steady increase over the past month, as well, with January 2021 (to-date) seeing a 48% increase in job seeker activity compared to December 2020.
Abbey Hutter, Executive Director of JSfirm.com, said, “After the sudden and unexpected downturn of hiring in the aviation industry in 2020, we were all eager to see what 2021 would bring us. The increase of job advertisements from companies is astounding. This is a very promising start to 2021.” She continued, “Our concern now is that due to retirements and people leaving the industry during the past year, the industry will be left with an even bigger shortage of talent than before Covid. Smart companies are hiring now, so they don’t find themselves dealing with work-stopping understaffing issues as the industry begins to regain steam.”
See full press release here.
The ATEC annual survey is underway. All US-based educational institutions with certificated and non-certificated aviation technical programs are asked to respond.
The purpose of the questionnaire is to assess key trends in aviation maintenance education, gather demographics of the entering workforce, support industry recruitment programs and initiatives, and guide future association activities and priorities. This year's survey will also analyze the impact COVID-19 has had on the aviation technical career pipeline.
Aggregate results will be published in the ATEC Pipeline Report this spring, along with the list of participating schools. Specific identifying information regarding programs offered, current enrollment, graduation expectations and dates will also be included in ATEC’s online school directory.
Earlier today, ATEC sent each aviation program's designated "primary contact" a link to the survey. If your school did not receive an invitation to participate or would like to confirm your school's primary contact, please email email@example.com.
Since data from various sources may be required to complete the survey, respondents are advised to collect information before beginning an electronic submission. To aid those efforts, a PDF version of the questionnaire is available for download here.
The survey is open Jan. 28 - Feb. 15.
The Journal is currently accepting submissions of scholarly, research, application, or opinion articles.
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to--
In addition to these, submissions discussing the current situation in classrooms or industry regarding the effects of COVID restrictions or the implementation of the new FAR 147 are welcome.
Professionals from all segments of the aviation maintenance industry, members and non-members alike, are invited to submit a paper for publication. The submission deadline for the spring issue is May 1.
Authors may be offered the opportunity to present their research via an ATEC webinar and thereafter be considered for live presentations at the next annual ATEC conference.
For more information and to submit a paper, visit http://www.atec-amt.org/the-journal.html.
Join us February 3rd at 1pm CST for a live Q&A on the new Part 147. A panel of industry representatives will answer questions and facilitate open discussion on the recent congressional directive mandating FAA passage of a community-drafted part 147.
Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with industry peers and share ideas surrounding implementation of the new rule. Questions can be asked in the live forum, or submitted in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All attendees are encouraged to listen to the previously-recorded webinar, "The New Part 147: An Overview," prior to the live forum. That recording and other resources are available at www.atec-amt.org/the-new-part-147.
Recognizing the student of the year and teacher of year are two of the most important events ATEC does in highlighting the best of the best in each category. Winners will be recognized in a virtual awards ceremony this spring.
The James Rardon Aviation Maintenance Technician Student of the Year Award, presented by ATEC in collaboration with JSfirm.com, will see its 21st award winner this year recognizing outstanding achievement of a full-time aviation maintenance technician student. The award goes to a student who has made a direct impact on classmates, their school or their community as demonstrated through academics and actions.
The award winner is chosen for leadership and motivational skills, academics, school or community service in assisting the faculty to develop new or better training methods or maintenance record keeping and or promoting the institution in the community.
In its 31st year, The Ivan D. Livi Aviation Maintenance Educator of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement of an aviation maintenance technology instructor either for a single event or long-term outstanding performance as an educator.
The award honors one of ATEC’s founding fathers, a man who provided leadership for the organization for more than 50 years. In his role at Northrop Rice Foundation, Livi had a passion for providing guidance to aviation and maintenance students and laid the foundation for ATEC to grow and develop into what it is today. His life - spanning nine decades - is a testament to what can be achieved through dedication, hard work and a commitment to serving others.
The winner must spend 80% of his or her time teaching aviation maintenance classes. Outstanding achievements can be based on initiative and creativity, attitude and performance, education and training and how these attributes influenced the nomination and the benefits and effects of his or her achievement.
The deadline to submit nominations is April 1.
WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is seeking applications for two Aviation Workforce Development Grant programs aimed at developing and inspiring a more inclusive pool of pilots and aviation maintenance technicians to join the next generation of aviation professionals.
The Aircraft Pilots Workforce Development Grants provide money to expand the pilot workforce and educate students to become pilots, aerospace engineers or unmanned aircraft systems operators. The Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers Workforce Development Grants will help prepare a more inclusive talent pool of aviation maintenance technicians. Applicants from academia and the aviation community can submit applications through www.grants.gov through March 22.
Eligible organizations may apply for grants ranging from $25,000 to $500,000 for any single grant per fiscal year.
The Notice of Funding Opportunity for each grant provides detailed information on eligibility, deadlines, evaluation criteria and application procedures. To ensure fair and open competition for the grants, answers to public questions will be posted on the FAA website at www.faa.gov/go/awd. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the site to review answers to frequently asked questions, eligibility requirements and guidelines that may assist them to complete their grant application.
Application is here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=330404
Contact: Jay Johnson, AMFA National Secretary/Treasurer
Phone: (720) 744-6632
The AMFA National Executive Council (NEC) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications until February 28, 2021, for two AMFA Scholarships for 2021. Scholarships will be $2500 and will be payable to each recipient’s institution of higher learning.
Last year’s scholarships were awarded to students at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Norfolk and Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach South.
“Contributing to the education of the next generation of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians is one of AMFA’s ambitions,” said Bret Oestreich, AMFA National Director. “We are honored to be offering this opportunity as costs have risen to obtain a FAA Airframe & Powerplant license.”
Those who apply must be currently enrolled in a school or university to gain their Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license, be a US Citizen, and submit a 500-word essay explaining “what the Dirty Dozen means to you.” For more information, visit the AMFA National website.
Founded in 1962, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is a craft oriented, independent aviation union. AMFA represents licensed and unlicensed technicians and related employees actively involved in the aviation industry. These technician and related employees work directly on aircraft and/or components, support equipment, and facilities. AMFA is committed to elevating the professional standing of technicians and to achieving progressive improvements in wages, benefits, and working conditions of the skilled craftsmen and women it represents. For more information about AMFA visit www.amfanational.org.
The Northrop Rice Foundation has arranged with the FAA’s written tests provider to pay test fees for students requiring financial support.
Test fee grants are now available and are described in the “Programs” portion of the foundation’s website. School administrators may download the poster linked below to market the opportunity to students.
For more information and to apply, visit the NRF website, or email FAAfeesgrant@northropricefoundation.org.
The PARTT 147 Act, legislation that rewrites Title 14 CFR part 147, is part of the massive omnibus bill expected to become law by Christmas Day.
Introduced last December, the Act reached a major milestone when it endured Senate and House committee markup and was subsequently made part of the Aviation Safety Act earlier this month. That aviation bill was ultimately rolled into the omnibus Consolidated Appropriates Act of 2021 (see page 3030 of 5593), which includes--among a host of other provisions--funding extensions and coronavirus relief.
Once passed into law, the bill will direct the FAA to remove the current part 147 and replace it with language drafted by the ATEC community. The new regulation will rely heavily on emerging airman certification standards, which will be the basis for part 147 program curriculum moving forward. The regulation also provides for "additional fixed locations" (e.g., to facilitate high school partnership programs), removes all reference to static curriculum and hour requirements, and, for federally-accredited institutions, no longer requires FAA approval of curriculum and grading systems.
"This was a monumental win for the aviation industry, and will forever change the landscape of aviation technical education," said ATEC legislative committee chair and Southern Utah University Director of Global Aviation Maintenance Training Jared Britt. "After advocating for FAA regulatory relief for over a decade, a coalition of academia, labor, and industry came together to demand change. And look at what we accomplished."
Indeed, earlier this month a group of 23 organizations sent a letter to House committee leadership, urging committee members to retain PARTT 147 Act language adopted in the Senate Commerce Committee's aviation certification reform bill. The coalition was backed by a steadfast and bipartisan group of congressional champions including Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Rep. Don Young (R-AK), and Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL).
"Our champions worked tirelessly on our behalf. Their staffers are first-class, and we could not thank them enough for the time and effort they dedicated to our industry over the last 18 months," said Britt. "The community is also indebted to ATEC's legislative and regulatory committee members, who worked tirelessly to draft and refine the legislative language, and to the scores that educated congressional leaders on the need for reform."
ATEC extends a special thanks to its Change Masters (you know who you are!), the ones with the ideas that moved our community beyond its established practice, and forced their ideas into visions.
A webinar is scheduled for Jan. 13 @ 1 PM CT to review and discuss the new rule. Under the law, the FAA is directed to issue the new part 147 on or about April 1 (no joke).
A coalition of 23 organizations sent a letter to House committee leadership encouraging support for long-awaited part 147 reform. The PARTT 147 Act (S.3043/H.R.5427), a bipartisan, bicameral bill introduced last December, was included in the Senate Commerce Committee's reported draft of the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act of 2020 (S.3969), but not in the House version of the bill (H.R.8408). The coalition urged committee leaders to retain the language in the final certification reform bill.
Industry has long pushed for a new part 147 through formal FAA rulemaking (see a full summary of our efforts here), and late last year doubled its efforts by calling on Congress for help. The recent Senate commerce committee markup was a big step in the legislative initiative, and provides a path forward for the community-drafted, performance-based part 147 to become law.
"Leading up to the pandemic, part 147 programs were not able to meet industry’s workforce demand; outdated and burdensome regulatory requirements exacerbated an already short supply of aviation technicians," said the coalition in its letter to committee leaders. "Given the mass exodus of qualified personnel due to COVID-19, industry’s post-pandemic recovery is greatly dependent on its ability to efficiently and effectively replace the devastating loss of technical experience. Reform of part 147 is now more important than ever."
For the Act to become law, House and Senate negotiators will need to agree to retain the PARTT 147 Act's language in the final version of the certification reform bill. It would then need the president's signature in early January, before the 117th Congress convenes.
U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.VA.), applauded the Commerce Committee’s inclusion of their bill to improve education and training curriculum at aviation maintenance technician schools as part of S. 3969, the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act of 2020, which the committee passed today.
The Promoting Aviation Regulations for Technical Training (PARTT) 147 Act would establish performance-based regulations to ensure aviation maintenance education institutions have the flexibility to teach core curriculum reflective of the ongoing technical advances and innovation happening across the aviation and aerospace industry. Reps. Don Young (R-Ark.) and Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) introduced the companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“I am glad to see our bipartisan legislation pass through committee today that would empower schools with the flexibility to teach core curriculum reflective of the technical advances and new innovative techniques happening across the aviation and aerospace industry,” Inhofe said. “Not only this, it would reduce restrictive government regulations and ensure schools are empowering students to become productive mechanics on the flight line or maintenance floor. Outdated regulations have prevented schools from implementing modern curriculum to teach students the skills necessary to maintain and repair modern, sophisticated aircraft. It’s time we make a change. I appreciate Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell for working with us to advance the PARTT 147 Act today.”
“Our academic institutions need flexibility and resources to teach the skills the aviation and aerospace industry require in order for students to feel confident in their trade, and meet the current demands of the industry,” said Moran. “Serving as the Senator for the ‘Air Capital of the World,’ I was pleased to support this legislation that will help our academic institutions prepare students for careers in the aviation and aerospace industry and look forward to supporting this legislation in the full Senate.”
“I’m very proud to see the bipartisan PARTT 147 Act advance through the Senate Commerce Committee,” Duckworth said. “We’ve seen important innovation and advancements in the aviation industry over the past 50 years and, to keep pace, we need to make sure our workforce is prepared to meet today’s technical demands. This effort will help modernize aviation maintenance educational programs and improve their overall efficiency and effectiveness to further enhance Illinois’s classroom-to-workplace pipeline.”
“The Commerce Committee’s passage of the Aviation Safety and Certification Reform Act not only would make much needed reforms to improve aviation safety, but includes legislation that is important for the emerging aerospace industry in West Virginia,” said Capito. “The inclusion of our bill updates outdated regulations and ensures aviation maintenance education institutions have the flexibility needed to teach a curriculum that reflects the ongoing technical advances that are occurring across the aviation and aerospace industry. I am confident that the inclusion of this bill will go a long way in improving the training programs at maintenance technician schools.”
A number of stakeholders wrote a letter of support for The PARTT 147 Act of 2019, which can be viewed here.
A letter from Oklahoma stakeholders can be found here.
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.