In an effort to enhance the overall quality of FAA Airman Knowledge Testing, the FAA has awarded a new airman knowledge testing contract called the Airman Certificate Testing Service (ACTS). The ACTS contract provides a comprehensive, best practices approach.
The ACTS vendor supports the FAA in development, assessment, maintenance, and delivery of airman knowledge tests. The vendor also enhances knowledge test items, knowledge tests, and supplementary material with automated state-of-the-art technology and academic expertise.
This is a great resource to inform Mechanics of the pending changes to FAA Knowledge Exams that will be going into effect Jan 13 2020.
In response to a directive in the FAA Reauthorization legislation, the FAA is calling for nominations for participants in its Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force.
The task force is designed to provide independent advice and recommendations to the FAA on attracting high school students to aviation and provide the FAA with information that may be used for tactical and strategic planning purposes.
Members will includes airlines, repair stations, colleges and high schools as well as manufacturers among others. For more information on the nomination package click here.
Designed to encourage aviation and aerospace science to think outside the box, the latest RAISE Challenge was recently announced by the Department of Transportation which set a deadline of November 15 for submissions.
The RAISE Challenge is designed to recognize students from high school to graduate programs with the ability to demonstrate unique and innovative thinking in aerospace science and engineering. This competition includes a high school division and both a graduate and undergraduate university division. DOT wants to encourage students at high schools and universities to think creatively in developing innovative solutions to aviation and aerospace challenges, and to share their innovations with the broader community.
Details on the Secretary’s Raise Award are available here and include rules, eligibility, judging criteria, entrance information, submission requirements and contact information.
One of the ways ATEC establishes its leadership is by giving back to the community, serving on boards of important organizations and participating in legislative and regulatory efforts.
The FAA is calling for nominations to a new board to advise it on recruiting more women to aviation. For ATEC, it is an important opportunity to spread the word on the value of the aviation maintenance technician career and advise on education issues surrounding that goal. The new board will issue a report within two years. So we encourage you to nominate candidates for the Women in Aviation Advisory Board.
The new board responds to a call in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, Section 612, Supporting Women’s Involvement in the Aviation Field. Its purpose is to advise the agency on how to encourage girls and women to enter the field and its goal is to promote organizations and programs providing education, training, mentorships, outreach and recruitment in the aviation industry.
Deadline for nominations is October 29 when FAA must receive the nomination package. Complete details of the opportunities, duties and instructions on the nomination package can be found here. You can also contact Angela Anderson, Senor Advisor, Office of the Assistant Administrator for Human Resource Management at email@example.com.
One of the ways ATEC establishes its leadership is by giving back to the community, serving on boards of important organizations and participating in legislative and regulatory efforts.
The FAA is calling for nominations to a new board to advise it on recruiting more women to aviation. For ATEC, it is an important opportunity to spread the word on the value of the aviation maintenance technician career and advise on education issues surrounding that goal. The new board will issue a report within two years. So we'd like to hear your ideas for nominations to this important board.
The Women in Aviation Advisory Board responds to a call in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, Section 612, Supporting Women’s Involvement in the Aviation Field. Its purpose is to advise the agency on how to encourage girls and women to enter the field and its goal is to promote organizations and programs providing education, training, mentorships, outreach and recruitment in the aviation industry.
Deadline for nominations is October 29 when FAA must receive the nomination package. Complete details of the opportunities, duties and instructions on the nomination package can be found here. You can also contact Angela Anderson, Senior Advisor, Office of the Assistant Administrator for Human Resource Management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aviation Maintenance Technician schools are facing a critical capacity problem prompting ATEC to ask the FAA for a better framework for incorporating high school partners into their training programs.
AMT schools will have to increase production by 30% to meet the projected demand for certified mechanics over the next 20 years, according to the FAA, which pointed out such enrollments are shrinking, not expanding. ATEC’s 2017 survey showed only 8% of schools have high school partnerships.
ATEC called on the agency to make policy changes that would allow schools to deliver AMTS content to enrolled students away from “primary locations,” via “additional fixed locations” provided on the AMTS operations specification. Read more.
At its fall 2019 board meeting, ATEC directors approved a plan that will usher in the next phase of development for the trade association and a pathway toward helping fulfill the significant workforce needs in aviation maintenance. Directors assessed and revised the council’s Flightplan, and with that strategic roadmap in place, approved a funding plan to support three initiatives:
To support these three new endeavors, the ATEC board has elected to increase dues for all membership categories from $350 to $600 annually, effective January 1, 2020. The increase effectively merges the membership dues previously paid to ATEC and NRF and results in a net increase of $100 per year for ATEC members that were also NRF members (a majority of the membership).
To ensure the council clearly communicates its intent and reasons for making its decision, ATEC President Gary Hoyle penned a letter to all ATEC members that went out today. For more information, see the dedicated Q&A page, linked below.
Earlier this month an ATEC contingent descended upon Washington, D.C. for its annual Fly-in. This pilgrimage happens each fall to push legislative and regulatory action, meet with key leaders, and conduct critical business for the organization.
The event kicked off with a roundtable discussion with FAA officials. Flight Standards Service Deputy Executive Director Larry Fields and Deputy Director Office of Safety Standards Van Kerns were joined by 12 of their colleagues to discuss a laundry list of regulatory issues impacting certificated part 147 schools.
Coming off the recent publication of the part 147 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, attendees discussed the impact proposed mandates would have on schools, and the role of accrediting bodies vs. the FAA in overseeing educational quality elements in their technical programs. ATEC strongly suggested—as it did in its comments to the SNPRM—that the FAA defer to Department of Education accreditation requirements on all matters concerning educational oversight, and took the opportunity to educate officials on the role of accreditors. (See presentation by Aviation Institute of Maintenance Vice President Joel English, The Triad in Higher Education.)
The council then discussed a formal letter it sent the week prior, asking the FAA to provide for part 147 “additional fixed locations,” and better facilitate maintenance program expansion into high schools (see related story, below). FAA representatives also gave updates on airman testing system improvements and the anticipated expansion of the Organization Designee Authorization program, an effort that would greatly expand access to testing for mechanic certificate applicants (see related story).
A lunch briefing by Aeronautical Repair Station Association Executive Vice President Christian Klein gave attendees an update on the grant programs authorized under the recent FAA reauthorization bill (see related story). Klein encouraged attendees to educate congressional leaders on the need to include funding in 2020 appropriations legislation so that the Department of Transportation can implement the program as directed (See related story, below).
Klein was joined by Policy Advisory for Senator James Inhofe (OK) Dan Hillenbrand who briefed attendees on a new legislative effort to push part 147 rulemaking. The Senator has championed several legislative initiatives (including a provision in the FAA reauthorization bill mandating promulgation of part 147 within six months, see related story). The latest legislative effort would direct the agency to issue an ATEC-drafted part 147 within 90 days.
The legislative effort leverages regulatory language provide in the council’s comments to the SNPRM (see related story), and mandate that the agency promulgate the language as written by the ATEC community. The plan was initiated after the agency suggested a final rule is still two years away, and publication of a less-than-optimal supplemental proposal (see related story).
Attendees were presented with a discussion draft of the legislation in order to solicit review and comment from the community and legislative leaders (see issue page with more details on the proposal). Hillenbrand asked that the community identify potential Senate co-sponsors, as well as House leaders willing to introduce companion legislation on the House side. A final bill is expected to be introduced soon.
The day concluded with briefings on federal initiatives impacting career technical education from representatives of the STEM Education Coalition and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. STEM’s James Brown and the White House’s Cindy Hasselbring informed attendees on how the council might better align their regulatory and legislative priorities with the Administration, and what resources are available to help the industry communicate their issues and proposed mandates.
A workshop to kick off the first research phase of Choose Aerospace—an organization created to advance awareness in aviation maintenance—rounded out the day. Level 7 Market Research Senior Managing Partner Kathleen Costello led attendees in an open discussion to supplement the firm’s findings at a recent student focus group—held at the University of the District of Columbia Community College. The research project is initially focused on marketing best practices for attracting new talent into the workforce pipeline. Information gathered from students at UDCCC and attendees at the ATEC Fly-in will publish in an initial report later this year.
After a full day of briefings on the issues, attendees were well prepared for meetings with congressional leaders the following day. Aviation maintenance education representatives held 44 meetings pushing ATEC’s top legislative issues, including garnering support for federal grant funding and legislation to fast-track an ATEC-drafted part 147. Efforts were successful, with congressional leaders overwhelmingly in support of all ATEC’s priorities.
After two days of briefings, meetings, and fellowship (thanks to AMFA, AVOTEK, AIM, Piedmont for keeping us fed and watered!), the ATEC board of directors held is semi-annual, in-person meeting to discuss council business. Directors voted in favor of a funding plan that will support the next phase of ATEC development. A 2020 dues increase will support the creation of a new charitable organization that will administer scholarships previously available to aviation maintenance programs and students through the Northrop Rice Foundation, and facilitate the Choose Aerospace coalition. Members will receive additional information about these exciting next steps in the coming weeks.
Thanks to all the speakers, sponsors, and attendees that made this year’s Fly-in a success. Through events like the Fly-in, ATEC ensures your voice is heard. If you weren’t able to participate in Washington there are more ways to get involved. Invite a member of congress to your school and show them what you do in your community. Volunteer to serve on an ATEC committee. Attend our annual conference next April in Fort Worth. Join us in building the future.
Download event materials, speaker presentations, and photos at atec-amt.org/fly-in-2019.
Senate appropriators have penciled in only half of the funding called for in the FAA reauthorization for aviation workforce development programs including the AMT and pilot grant programs, the industry coalition supporting these programs reported.
he FY 2020 Transportation, House and Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last week includes funding for both the technician workforce development and pilot education programs. However, unlike the House bill (H.R. 3163), the Senate bill (S. 2520) does not fund both programs at the fully authorized level ($5 million each), instead providing a combined $5 million for both. The report states (at page 42):
Aviation Workforce Development Programs.—The Committee is concerned with the shortage of trained pilots and aviation technicians for our Nation’s commercial, recreational, and military aviation industries. The Committee recommendation includes $5,000,000 within Systems Planning and Resource Management for the Aviation Workforce Development Programs as authorized by section 625 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Funding shall be used for both aircraft pilot workforce and aviation maintenance workforce.
“While it’s not the slam dunk we were hoping for, the Senate T-HUD bill is a step in the direction,” wrote ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein, in his update to ATEC and other industry organization who are members of the coalition supporting the training initiatives. “The fact that the Senate bill contains some money for the programs significantly increases the likelihood that they’ll be funded for FY 2020. The question now is how much Congress will provide. Our mission is to do everything in our powers to ensure the number in the conference report is the House number ($10 million total), not the Senate’s.”
A coalition of industry group supporters will continue to make the case for investing in America’s aviation workforce.
ATEC is encouraging its members to contact legislators in support of full funding for the AMT program. ARSA has provided materials to support continuing advocacy here.
While 81% of aviation/aerospace’s current workforce recommend their career to families and friends, the industry still has pockets of despair including the fact that the number of women in the industry has stubbornly resisted change coming in at only 25% for over two decades. Re-skilling has also become more critical with only 4% of companies surveyed in the Aviation Week, Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and American Institute of Aerospace and Astronautics (AIAA) study now having such programs.
Some of the results were revealed during an AvWeek Podcast Can the Aerospace Industry Shake its White, Male Image? during which AIA CEO Eric Fanning discussed industry challenges with AvWeek Editor in Chief Joe Anselmo and Executive Editor Jen DiMascio. Results of the study were covered in the September 16 issue of AvWeek.
While the industry is focusing attention on recruiting students into STEM in middle and high school, Fanning said the work needs to start as early as kindergarten with continued emphasis throughout grade school owing to the drop out rate for STEM studies around the third or fourth grade. DiMascio said there is little exposure to STEM, aerospace and aviation in the early grades. On a hopeful note, Fanning pointed out students are more diverse as evidenced by AIA’s rocketry challenge for middle schoolers who are much more diverse than in the past.
“It is harder to start STEM later in their education,” he said. “We have to focus on kids as young as possible and get them and keep them excited about STEM. We need to make sure our school districts have the resources because STEM education is more expensive. Only one in six high school graduates who are prepared to study STEM, actually pursue that route in college. And, only half of those stay with and graduate with a STEM degree.”
One of the problems, he said, is the view that aviation/aerospace technology is old compared to more recent industries because it has been around for more than a century. This despite the development of unmanned systems, commercial space transport and urban mobility.
“It falls on us to talk about the aerospace brand, what it has done and what the future looks like and show that to kids,” said Fanning. “We don’t know what that future looks like, but we do know that a lot of things that are now done on the ground will be done in the air. The potential is almost limitless.”
DiMascio pointed to the growing number of women aviation/aerospace executives but cited a University of Wisconsin study showing women left industry within five years to start families because of lack of advancement or workplace culture. She emphasized they are not leaving the workforce because more than half continue to work outside the home after they leave the industry. In fact, women pilots report work rules as a major impediment in careers for all pilots.
“A lot can be done to change workforce policies in the industry to keep women in our workforce,” she said, pointing to Boeing’s Return to Flight program. “It is hard for women to re-enter the industry even after three years. Boeing’s program provides internships to phase them back into the workforce. Without such programs we are leaving out a lot of engineers the industry might be able to bring in.”
Fanning agreed, adding diversity is an issue throughout industry, not just aviation/aerospace. “We have to do better,” he said. “We have to invest heavily in STEM education. Every country is stagnant for such investments except China. This is a global competitive issue for America in addition to it being a national security issue. The Pentagon has definitely woken up to this issue but the rest of the government has yet to wake up. Our industry is important for the economy, for jobs, and because we want to keep head of our competitors and adversaries.”
With rapid changes in technology, re-skilling programs are more critical than ever.
“We have difficulty finding new workers, so we have to have the ability to retain our workforce through re-skilling programs for those who want to stay,” said Fanning. “The Department of Labor wants more re-skilling programs and asked industry to develop accreditation standards because the department couldn’t keep up with the demand. I was shocked at how many members signed up to do these programs. Only 4% had re-skilling programs and we expect that to grow to 40% in the next five years.”
Note: The following text is largely based on an Aviation Week Network article, scheduled to publish in October’s edition of InsideMRO.
A recent ATEC initiative asks the FAA to provide a better framework for aviation maintenance programs looking to expand their reach into high schools.
ATEC’s Pipeline Report estimates that certificated Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools (AMTS) need to increase production by 30% to meet projected industry demand for certificated mechanics over the next 20 years. Unfortunately, FAA data indicates that AMTS enrollments are shrinking, not growing. Nationally, A&P student populations have decreased 2% since 2014.
One increasingly popular strategy to increase enrollment and program awareness is through the development of high school partnerships, whereby high school students can begin mechanic coursework earlier in their educational careers.
According to a 2017 ATEC survey, 8% of AMTS have high school dual enrollment programs. In most cases, the high school students are bused onto the AMTS campus to complete the coursework. Or, the AMTS will award credit for “previous experience” (allowable under § 147.31(c)) for students that enroll in the A&P program after high school graduation.
Out of the 62 respondents (representing 36% of all AMTS), 66% said that if the FAA regulation provided a better pathway for dual enrollment programs, they would be more likely to initiate such a program.
In a Sept. 6 letter to the FAA, ATEC called on the agency to make policy changes that would allow schools to deliver AMTS content to enrolled students away from its “primary location,” via “additional fixed locations” provided on the AMTS operations specification. Under the proposal, a part 147 certificated school could provide its curriculum at a partner high school and bestow upon that high school student AMTS credit without that student first enrolling in the A&P program. Since the high school is provided as an “additional fixed location” on the part 147 operations specifications, that location would also be subject to FAA oversight.
While the regulation does not prohibit AMTS from providing coursework at another location, FAA “endorsement” of the practice varies across local offices, with some officials expressly forbidding it. Local inspectors prohibiting the AMTS from providing content “away from the fixed location” often cite FAA guidance material that says schools may not “operate a satellite facility” and that “all AMTS must be FAA-certificated as separate facilities.” Notwithstanding the fact that guidance cannot impose requirements or prohibitions, it is safe to say that the language has discouraged the proliferation of dual enrollment programs.
The FAA recognized the issue in its recent part 147 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, offering regulatory language that would provide for the approval of “satellite facilities.” ATEC maintains that the proposal is overly cumbersome and would unnecessarily create a new set of approvals that would dissuade many AMTS from utilizing the proffered solution (see related story). Its recent letter proposes the alternative approach.
ATEC discussed the proposal in detail during the FAA roundtable at the Washington Fly-in earlier this month. It is standing by for the FAA’s formal response to its request.
The Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance (AWAM) is excited to accept applications for the 2020 AWAM scholarship season.
Applicants can apply online and watch the application tutorial video at www.awam.org/scholarships.
Student, technician, and instructor scholarships are available (to be eligible, the instructor must be employed by an AWAM-member school).
Direct inquiries to email@example.com.
Current A&Ps and students are invited to join Southwest Airlines at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Fremont, CA on Sept. 13 to learn more about career opportunities.
Tech Ops leadership from the West Coast Region (LAX, SAN, LAS, PHX, OAK) will be on hand for a Q&A session; People Department Recruiters will also conduct on-site candidate screenings.
See the informational flyer below for more information.
July 26, 2019: Avotek offers a new edition of the industry-favorite textbook, Advanced Composites. Ms. Foreman wrote this book to help students become the next generation of aircraft technicians by teaching them about composites and their repair. Instructors and students alike will benefit from these changes:
This textbook covers a wide variety of topics in the advanced composites field. It does this over 12 highly detailed and beautifully imaged chapters that are designed to be as user friendly as possible. The 12 chapters are as follows: Introduction to Composites, Reinforcing Fibers, Matrix Materials, Core Materials, Composite Manufacturing, Composite Safety, Applying Pressure, Methods of Curing, Machining Composites, Setting Up Shop, Assessment and Repair, and Types of Repairs.
Advanced Composites 4th edition is available for order now. A corresponding workbook is expected to be available sometime in the fall of 2019.
Avotek, of Weyers Cave, VA, develops and manufactures modern, fully functional aviation maintenance training systems; publishes a full line of high-quality, up-to-date classroom textbooks that complement its training systems; and offers online training.
Avotek has earned an industry reputation for quality and excellence. Our team of authors includes mechanics, inspectors, aviation experts, and instructors. They are actively involved in aviation maintenance training or working in the aviation maintenance field. They bring their expertise to Avotek from colleges, universities, and current hands-on experience.
# # #
This press release is also available at https://www.avotek.com/advanced-composites-4th-edition-now-available/
The latest Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, anticipated to formally release at the upcoming EAA AirVenture in OshKosh, projects that 769,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed to fly and maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years. The forecast is inclusive of the commercial aviation, business aviation, and civil helicopter industries, and is up from last year's 20-year forecast of 754,000. Projected demand in North America is 193,000, up 2% from last year.
According to the report:
The demand will stem from a mix of fleet growth, retirements, and attrition. Meeting this strong demand will require a collective effort from across the global aviation industry. As several hundred thousand pilots and technicians reach retirement age over the next decade, educational outreach and career pathway programs will be essential to inspiring and recruiting the next generation of personnel...
As new generation airplanes become more prominent in the global fleet, advances in airplane technology will drive demand for a new set of skills, such as digital troubleshooting and composites repair. Concurrently, operators and MROs will be challenged to ensure technicians continue to maintain the skills and capability necessary to service the large fleet of older generation aircraft. These two skill sets often differ, creating opportunities for the industry to enhance its standard training curriculum.
Mobile and distance learning solutions are supplementing traditional classroom instruction and allow students to continue their studies outside of traditional instructor-led classes. New technologies, such as augmented and mixed reality solutions, are also being tested as a way to improve student engagement, quality of instruction, and knowledge retention. Competency-based maintenance training continues to evolve as the industry focuses on addressing individual students' needs and knowledge gaps.
The need for maintenance personnel is largest in the Asia Pacific region, which will require 266,000 new technicians. Airlines in North America will require 193,000, Europe 137,000, the Middle East 69,000, Latin America 52,000, Africa 27,000, and Russia / Central Asia 25,000.
The full forecast is available at www.boeing.com/commercial/market/pilot-technician-outlook
For a compilation of this and other notable aviation maintenance workforce reports, visit atec-amt.org/workforce
This month, the FAA notified the public of changes made to the written test bank (as further explained in revised sample exams and the latest "what's new" document).
The FAA, in collaboration with industry representatives, are currently reviewing the knowledge test bank to ensure correlation with imminent Mechanic Airman Certification Standards. Through an exam review board "boarding" process, some questions in the test bank have been edited, removed, or archived.
Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. (ASA) publishes specific changes made to sample exams for each test roll. That analysis can be found at www.asa2fly.com/FAA-Knowledge-Exams-W22C162.aspx.
The council continues to work through the ACS working group to ensure a documented and transparent process for creating, vetting and revising test bank questions. The FAA is currently utilizing the ACS to review and edit the test bank. ATEC Treasurer and Embry-Riddle University Aviation Maintenance Science Department Chairman Chuck Horning is the industry representative on that review board.
Members are encouraged to provide feedback on student experiences while the test bank undergoes revision to coincide with the new ACS. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next FAA test change is expected in January 2020.
RACCA’s annual scholarship program is now open for applications. The scholarships aredesigned to help aspiring pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs) and airline managers pursue their careers.
“Affording an aviation education is increasingly difficult and our members and associate members are dedicated to ensuring there is funding available,” said President Stan Bernstein. “In recent years, we have helped students pursue AMT careers, airline management and pilots.
Providing scholarships to deserving young people interested in a career in aviation is one of the most important efforts RACCA undertakes each year. The RACCA Aviation Scholarships were established for the purpose of promoting and assisting in pursuing aviation as a career choice and to make students aware of the opportunities in the air cargo industry.”
RACCA, representing 50 air cargo carriers, many of which feed the FedEx, DHL and UPS networks, provides scholarships to assist in the payment of tuition, flight training, or to obtain new or additional licenses. The organization makes several awards each year in November.
Bernstein noted flying for a RACCA carrier is a valuable way to build flying time because it gives pilots experience in flying on a schedule, inclement weather, dealing with inflight and procedural issues surrounding cargo as well as night flying, operating in busy airspace, cockpit resource management issues and required record keeping, all of which are part of airline operations.
To qualify for the scholarships, applicants must be:
· A college student currently enrolled in an accredited aviation program.
· A resident of the United States.
· Currently carry a Grade Point Average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Scholarship # 1 will carry the additional requirement of obtaining a letter of introduction from an existing RACCA member or RACCA associate member since the goal is for candidates to learn about the air cargo industry. If there is a RACCA member or associate member in a candidate’s immediate area, candidates should arrange to visit their operation and become familiar with all the opportunities in the growing air cargo industry. If there is no member close, candidates should call a member and tell them who they are and ask questions about the air cargo industry.
The deadline for applications is October 15, 2019 and the selection will be made by November 30 each year and distributed on December 15 to an accredited school.
The RACCA Aviation Scholarship application is available on the RACCA website.
The House Appropriations Committee approved $5 million in workforce development for in FY20 for two programs that were part of the FAA Reauthorization legislation. (See latest related story.)
The FY 2020 Transportation, House and Urban Development and related agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill (HR 3163) approved by the House Appropriations Committee on June 4 includes full funding for both the technician workforce development and pilot education programs ($5 million for each).
The report for the T-HUD bill references the grant programs (on page 21) and states that, “The Committee supports increasing the strength and number of aviation professionals who are well-trained and can be relied upon to make air travel safe and efficient. To that end, the Committee provides $5,000,000 for the aviation maintenance technician development program and $5,000,000 for aviation workforce development program.”
While the appropriations bills is an important step towards getting the authorized program funded, members are encouraged to keep the pressure on with congressional leaders. The Aeronautical Repair Station Association is leading a coalition and has created an action center with more information at http://arsa.org/legislative/grant-program-action-center/.
Separate but related, the Building U.S. Infrastructure by Leveraging Demands for Skills (BUILDS) Act (H.R. 2831/S.1517) introduced last month by Reps. Mitchell, Bonamici, Thompson and Langevin and Sens. Kaine and Portman would also provide additional resources for aviation sector workforce development. The legislation authorizes $500 million per year (FY 2020 through FY 2024) for the Department of Labor to make grants to support workforce development in “targeted infrastructure industries”, including aviation. The bill is expected to be a workforce component of whatever infrastructure package might move this Congress. A press release on the bill is here.
Funding to support aviation workforce development is a top legislative priority for ATEC and will be at the forefront of our conversations at the upcoming Fly-In, taking place Sept. 10-13. Registration is open.
For more information on these and other legislative priorities, see the Legislative Tool Kit.
ATEC hosted a regional outreach meeting at the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics in Pittsburgh. Twenty-seven aviation industry professionals participated in the event on June 13th. Topics ranged from council initiatives, strategic objects, and how ATEC can provide support to the local aviation maintenance technician education community. The meeting concluded with a tour of the facilities.
Thank you to all those who participated in the meeting:
James Olsen, Federal Aviation Administration
Abbey Hutter, JSfirm, LLC
Ashley Vidale, JSfirm, LLC
Heather Ottenberg, JSfirm, LLC
Joshua Eyring, Kent State University
Maureen McFarland, Kent State University
Kevin Deemer, Kent State University
Bradley Dean Blank, Liberty University
Gary Hoyle, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Pittsburgh
Jason Mongan, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Pittsburgh
Jason Pfarr, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Pittsburgh
Suzanne Markle, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Pittsburgh
Tesha Everitt, SkyWest Airlines
Allen Ray, SkyWest Airlines
Barbara Murray, TransPORTs
Chris Lima, PNC Bank
Mark Thomas, PNC Bank
Crystal Maguire, Aviation Technician Education Council
David Austin, Liberty University
David Franks, Haltec Corp
Jazmine Ward, PSA Airlines
Steven Albaugh PSA Airlines
Mike Scimio, Envoy
Aaron Nightingale, Cape Air
Kevin Dallaire, Piedmont Airlines
Matt Bryant, Republic Airways
Thomas Stordy, Republic Airways
A special thanks to PIA for hosting the event.
Join us for the next outreach meeting in Daytona Beach, followed by Seattle. Register at https://www.atec-amt.org/outreach-meetings.html.
Fourteen trade associations submitted joint comments to the part 147 supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, delivering a powerful message of unity and support for technician education.
The coalition echoed comments previously submitted by ATEC, asking the agency to reconsider prescriptive terms, and pushing for an outcomes-based approach to regulatory oversight. The group reiterated the need for a simplified approach to dual enrollment programs and deference to Department of Education requirements for matters concerning the quality of education.
"Fixing 147 is an industry imperative," the letter said. "Handicapping our schools burdens both graduates and employers. Give us the flexible and dynamic rule needed to ensure we can educate the future workforce by the best means necessary."
In addition to ATEC, the following organizations signed the letter:
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Aerospace Maintenance Council
Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Airlines for America®
Cargo Airline Association
International Air Transport Association
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
National Business Aviation Association
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association
Read the joint comments here: www.regulations.gov/document?D=FAA-2015-3901-0132.
In a June 12 submission, ATEC voiced its feedback to the latest FAA rulemaking regarding aviation maintenance technician schools.
The comments, a committee-run work product that took three months and more than ten conference calls to create, push back on what the council says would create an overly-prescriptive system and stifle an already inadequate mechanic pipeline.
The submission calls for FAA deference in all matters concerning the quality of education, an element that falls squarely in the Department of Education's (ED) purview. As further explained in the comments, "Higher institutions of learning are overseen by accreditors that ensure educational outcomes are achieved through annual audits and regular oversight. The agency’s proposals duplicate—and often contradict—these accreditation requirements."
The council also reiterated it's plea for an outcomes-based approach, one that would utilize new mechanic airman certification standards as the basis for curriculum, and negate the need for the agency to micromanage schools through curriculum approvals and hour requirements.
Finally, the council offered an alternative to the satellite system proposal set forth in the supplement. It suggests a simplified approach that would allow AMTS to include "additional fixed locations" on their operations specs, consistent with processes for other air agencies. The familiar scheme would allow schools to provide content at local high schools and support dual enrollment programs, so long as the "additional fixed location" met the requirements of part 147. Indeed, as the council stated in its comments, the agency could implement this opportunity even before a formal rule change.
Read the council's comments in their entirety by clicking on the button below.
The trade association highly recommends that the community provide feedback on the recent supplemental proposal. Comments are due Monday, June 17.
To aid those efforts, the council has created two templates--one for AMTS and one for industry--to facilitate meaningful feedback.
It is important to note that submission of the "form letters" provided below do not count as a "vote" for or against the proposal. ATEC's intention is for the community to provide real-world examples that support the positions set forth in the council's comment submission.
Instructions for submitting comment:
Submit an abstract to be considered for presentation at the ATEC Annual Conference research roundtable breakout.
The purpose of the research roundtable is to provide a forum for ATEC members to share their research. This roundtable is designed to encourage research collaboration, generate interest in aviation maintenance-related research, and encourage journal submissions to the ATEC Journal. Additionally, educators who require publications and presentations for tenure or promotion can use this as an opportunity to satisfy some of the requirements. Presenters will be selected based on abstract submissions as further outlined below.
Abstract submission requirements
Abstract review and selection
The abstract is due on November 1, 2019. The review committee will select the abstracts for presentation by November 15, 2019.
The one-hour conference breakout session will comprise of multiple presentations from the abstracts selected by the review committee.
For questions and/or comments, contact the roundtable moderator, Daniel H. Siao at Daniel.Siao@mtsu.edu.
To brief the community on the particulars on the recent Federal Aviation Administration Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 147 Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), and to assist stakeholders with their own comments (due June 17, 2019), the council held an online webinar on May 30. The recorded version is available for free to all members of the community.
Update: The President has formally acknowledged AMT Day: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/presidential-message-aviation-maintenance-technician-day/
Aviation leaders sent a letter to the president earlier this week, seeking formal recognition of May 24 as Aviation Maintenance Technician Day. The day is already officially recognized by nearly all 50 United States, Commonwealths and Territories, United States Congress, and United States Senate.
The letter, initiated by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association and the Aerospace Maintenance Council, requests that "the White House honor a true American hero that was almost forgotten by history, and recognize the importance of the contributions made by Charles E. Taylor and the men and women who have followed in his footsteps by celebrating Aviation Maintenance Technician Day on May 24 of this year and each year following."
In addition to ATEC, AMFA and AMC, the letter was signed by--
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Aircraft Electronics Association
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Airlines for America
Aviation Mechanics Coalition
Helicopter Association International
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association
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.