The council will facilitate three online webinars next month, highlighting issues impacting the aviation technical workforce. Register now for these upcoming events:
The Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance is excited to be accepting applications for the 2021 AWAM scholarship season for two more weeks. The full scholarship flyer and application link can be found online at www.awam.org/scholarships.
If you have any questions please email email@example.com.
In a Sept. 29 letter to FAA Flight Standards Executive Director Rick Domingo, ATEC advocated for a stream-lined approach to distance learning approvals for aviation maintenance technician schools that provide other FAA-approved curriculum outside of part 147.
Blue Ridge Community College has for years sought FAA authorization to provide its Light Sport Repairman Training, approved through the FAA's Specialty Aircraft Examiner Branch, to students remotely. (AOPA recently highlighted the course in its Pilot Magazine (non-subscribers can click "Not a Subscriber" to access) as an underutilized opportunity for individuals wanting to explore aviation maintenance pathways.) FAA officials have thus far refused to allow the remote offering given the lack of inspector guidance specific to Light Sport Repairman Training online delivery.
ATEC argues that part 147 programs already go through rigorous approval processes to obtain distance learning authorization and that duplicative review is inefficient and unnecessary. "[Distance learning] authorization is based on a local office’s review of the policies and procedures in place for remote learning and has little to do with the content offered," said ATEC in its letter. "It is the association’s position that if the Light Sport Repairman Training course content has already been approved (here through the Specialty Aircraft Examiner Branch) then the method of delivery (i.e., distance learning) should not necessitate separate scrutiny."
ATEC asked that the FAA rely on a part 147 school’s distance learning authorization when assessing non-part 147 content for online delivery. It is currently awaiting the agency's response.
The latest Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook projects that 763,000 new civil aviation pilots, 739,000 new maintenance technicians and 903,000 new cabin crew members will be needed to fly and maintain the global fleet over the next 20 years. The forecast is inclusive of the commercial aviation, business aviation and civil helicopter industries and assumes air traffic recovers to 2019 levels within the next few years.
According to the report:
"The market downturn has spurred large-scale parking of the global fleet, creating new challenges for the industry. Despite a large number of aircraft in storage, technicians continue to play a vital role in ensuring the aircraft remain airworthy. Improper or incomplete maintenance could lead
to corrosion, damaged wires and other issues that lead to more extensive and expensive repairs. The need for continued maintenance of the parked fleet has mitigated the impact on technician employment worldwide."
The technician demand projections are only down 3.9% from last year's outlook, which Boeing suggests is due in part to the temporary decrease in MRO demand.
See the full outlook here, and sign up to attend a live webinar with Boeing on Nov. 10.
**Updated Oct. 21, 2020***
The Safety Assurance System (SAS) is an FAA oversight tool for certification and surveillance. It is most well known by industry as a software tool to collect data through utilization of Data Collection Tools (DCTs). The purpose of the program is to facilitate a risk-based, data-supported approach to oversight and standardize evaluation protocols.
Part 135, 142, and 145 certificate holders are currently subject to the SAS approach. Representatives of those sectors have argued that implementation missed the mark given questions are not weighted and therefore the system does not ensure resources are focused on the most vulnerable. Industry also contends that the prescriptive nature of the DCTs is contrary to the FAA’s movement towards performance-based rules, and that the majority of the questions are based in guidance and policy, not in regulations.
While the FAA contends that "SAS is not a separate safety standard and does not impose additional requirements on certificate holders," those subject to the oversight system have raised concerns that while industry's use of the portal is "voluntary," the DCT's are not optional for the safety inspectors and there is an unspoken expectation that the certificate holders complete them, especially if it means assisting the inspector in an expeditious document review.
For part 147 holders, the expansion could mean more man hours required for certification and/or FAA audits. (For example, a charter operator reported that it was asked to complete over 570 SAS questions in response to its request for an operations manual revision.) Given those realities, industry has asked the FAA to add industry representation to FAA internal SAS groups, or at the very least develop a list of stakeholders to provide feedback on how to improve the system.
While ATEC engages with regulators on these issues, the community is encouraged to review the SAS elements applicable to part 147 certificate holders, and report back concerns or comments:
SAS FS Data Collection Tools (DCTs)
DCTs applicable to part 147 certificate holders:
ATEC and several allied organizations filed comments in response to the recent Federal Register notice regarding the FAA’s implementation of the new aviation workforce development grant program.
The program was created by Sec. 625 of the 2018 FAA reauthorization bill, which authorizes $5 million annually for grants of up to $500,000 for schools, governmental entities, aviation businesses and labor organizations that collaborate on projects to attract new technical talent to the aviation maintenance industry and train technicians. The same section of the FAA bill created a similar $5 million program to support pilot education.
On Sept. 8, the FAA published a Federal Register notice describing its plans to implement the maintenance grant program and inviting comment. The agency indicated at the time that it plans to publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in November, after which time interested parties will be able to apply for grants.
The coalition's comments expressed concern over three issues in the FAA’s notice.
First, the FAA missed one of the key goals of the grant program, which is facilitate collaboration between schools, government, aviation companies and/or labor organizations. The law requires that grant applications be submitted jointly to encourage a collective approach to closing the skills gap. However, this fact is not clearly articulated in the FAA notice.
“One of the causes of the skills gap has been a misalignment between local industry needs and what students learn in school,” the comments said. “The program was designed to encourage industry and schools to work to together to identify necessary skills and design curricula to teach them, with government providing oversight to ensure the initiative properly served local needs. Because proposed initiatives must have buy-in from more than just the applicant, mandating collaboration will also act as a check to ensure government resources are spent effectively and that applications reflect a true consensus about local industry and community needs.”
Additionally, the law directs the FAA to engage with stakeholders in the program’s implementation. The notice, however, states that it and the related comment period satisfy the engagement requirement. The allies called for more expansive involvement by industry and academia through the creation of formal stakeholder body to help guide FAA’s activities in this area.
Finally, the industry comments urged the FAA to raise the amount of the grant allowable for administrative expenses from five to 10 percent. This is in line with the standard amount allowable for these expenses in other grant programs.
The comments were orchestrated by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association. Fellow signatories included the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Cargo Airline Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Helicopter Association International and the International Council of Air Shows.
In a letter to Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell and House Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen, a group of Washington state-based schools and organizations called on Congress to support the Promoting Aviation Regulations for Technical Training (PARTT) 147 Act (S.3043/H.R.5427).
The Act, which was introduced in December and since garnered a long, bipartisan list of co-sponsors in both the House and the Senate, would direct the FAA to remove and replace the current part 147 with community-drafted language. If passed into law, the new, performance-based regulation would replace prescriptive and duplicative operational requirements and curriculum hour and subject area mandates that have long-awaited agency action.
"Seeing no regulatory relief in sight, the undersigned organizations acknowledge that the Act is intended to further escalate the issue after 12 years of pushing for a new rule to modernize aviation maintenance technician training," the coalition stated in its letter. "Promulgation of the Act’s performance-based regulation would give schools and employers the freedom to develop programs that better align with industry needs, and ensure individuals begin their careers equipped to hit the ground running."
Nine representatives of WA-based organizations signed on to the letter, including four college presidents overseeing part 147 programs at their respective institutions:
The Act is awaiting consideration by committees with jurisdiction over aviation issues in both the House and the Senate. Members of the community are encouraged to reach out to their own elected leaders to voice support for the bill. An online legislative toolkit is available to guide those efforts.
Today, the Federal Aviation Administration published details surrounding the long-awaited aviation maintenance grant program, an initiative created by Congress in the 2018 FAA reauthorization bill. Once implemented, applicants may apply for grants of up to $500,000; funds can be used to support projects aimed at increasing the number of individuals that choose aviation technical careers. Congress appropriated $5 million per year, through FY 2023.
Under the proposed guidance, funding can be used to establish new educational programs, purchase equipment, improve existing programs, establish scholarships or apprenticeships, support outreach initiatives, or to increase career opportunities in economically disadvantaged geographic areas.
While part 147 certificate holders are not specifically identified as an eligible applicant, any accredited institution of higher education, high school, or secondary school may apply. (ATEC believes the definition encompasses the entire part 147 community, please let us know if that does not hold true for your institution.)
While partnership with co-applicants are not required, the agency is encouraging collaborative submissions in an effort to satisfy congressional intent.
The notification and request for comment comes in advance of a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), which will publish at www.grants.gov around mid November and remain open for 60 days. Additional NOFOs would be published for each funded fiscal year thereafter.
The FAA reauthorization bill created a mirror program to expand the pilot workforce. Information on both the pilot and technician workforce grant programs is available at www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ang/grants/awd/.
On Aug. 31, House and Senate allies urged FAA and DOT leaders to rapidly implement the aviation maintenance and pilot workforce grant programs created by Sec. 625 of the 2018 FAA reauthorization law.
The Senate letter was led by Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who were joined by Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chris Coons (D-Del.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Angus King (I-Maine), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
The House letter was coordinated by Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), who were joined by 34 of their colleagues, including T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-La.)
"Given the broad, bipartisan support for the grant programs on Capitol Hill, and among schools, industry, and labor, we are disappointed that they are not yet operating," said the Senators in their letter to the Administration. "These important programs have been authorized for almost two years, and there is significant interest by stakeholders to establish them. With the end of fiscal year fast approaching, we strongly encourage you to get both grant programs up and running in the coming weeks."
Get an update from FAA officials on the status of the grant program at ATEC's annual conference, brought to you in an online format Sept. 14-18.
Choose Aerospace, Inc. Announces Aviation Maintenance Award Program, Benefiting Schools, Instructors and Students
JENKS, OK – A new organization, with the mission of promoting careers in aviation maintenance, is offering award opportunities for aviation maintenance programs, their instructors, and students. The deadline to apply is Oct. 15, 2020.
Choose Aerospace will provide $25,000 worth of scholarships, textbooks, training systems, and testing fee credits to educators and future aviators. “Trying to kick off a new scholarship program in the midst of a national workforce crises is challenging to say the least, but we have been overwhelmed by the community’s steadfast support to get it off the ground,” said AAR Vice President Workforce Development and Choose Aerospace President Ryan Goertzen. “It illustrates the commitment this industry has to supporting our future leaders, even in the midst of crises.”
Scholarship donors include the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA), Nida Corporation, AVOTEK, Aircraft Technical Book Company and CertTEC. Choose Aerospace will also provide a $2,500 award funded by the organization’s founding steering committee members: United Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, Envoy Air, AAR, PSA Airlines, AVOTEK, Aviation Technical Services, ASA, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, ARSA, the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance, and the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC).
“Despite the recent challenges, some schools are seeing record enrollments in aviation technical programs,” said Goertzen. “That is an opportunity for industry, we must keep supporting the workforce pipeline, now more so than ever.”
Eligible applicants must be enrolled at or teach in an aviation technical program. ATEC membership is not required but is a top consideration for the review committee when selecting award recipients. Apply at www.chooseaerospace.org/scholarship.
About Choose Aerospace, Inc. Choose Aerospace is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting aerospace technical careers. It is a partnership of stakeholders within professional aviation and aerospace industries, joined together to address one of the biggest threats to continued industry growth: the availability of a diverse, qualified technical workforce. Choose Aerospace is facilitated through the Aviation Technician Education Council, a trade association representing aviation technical education.
Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 147 governs aviation maintenance technician schools and mandates what our technical programs teach aspiring aviators. The regulation was originally established in 1962 and has not been significantly revised since. For over a decade, the council has actively advocated for a new part 147, imploring the Federal Aviation Administration to promulgate a regulation that would release schools from unnecessary restrictions and allow the community to properly prepare future aviators for their aspiring careers.
With no relief in sight, the community asked Congress for help. In a bipartisan effort, House and Senate leaders introduced The Promoting Aviation Regulations for Technical Training (PARTT) 147 Act (S.3043/H.R.5427), legislation that, if signed into law, would direct the FAA to reform the out-dated regulation and promulgate a community-drafted rule that would allow schools to innovate while removing unnecessary restraints with no impact on aviation safety.
The inflexibility of the current rule is especially acute in the COVID-impacted environment. Under the current regulatory framework, schools must obtain FAA approval before providing aviation technical program content online. The restriction is yet another example of unnecessary regulatory interference that ultimately deprives students of their ability to complete their course of study. ATEC is therefore doubling down on its efforts to generate support for the Act, and asking that Congress consider including it in any must-pass legislation this Congress.
The PARTT 147 Act would adopt a performance-based approach, whereby the FAA would defer to Department of Education oversight for all matters concerning quality of education, and give schools the freedom to create curriculum based on competencies and industry needs. Community leaders are encouraged to take the following steps to solicit congressional support for the PARTT 147 Act:
James William Rice passed away Sunday, July 26, 2020 in Webster TX at the age of 88.
Dr. Rice was a founding member of ATEC, and instrumental in its creation in 1961. The Northrop Rice Foundation was established in the Rice family name in 1994 to provide annual scholarships and awards to the aviation technical education community. It continues to be a valuable resource for aviation technical programs, instructors, and students.
Jim was born in Chicago, IL on May 14, 1932 to James William Rice and Helen Margaret Lyons. Dr. Rice was in aviation his entire life, working at Braniff, Continental, Bendix, Western Electric and Lockheed before founding Rice Aviation in Houston in 1972 to teach aircraft mechanics. After receiving his Ed.D from the University of Houston in 1977, Dr. Rice alongside his wife Mary Alice, helped thousands of students through the rigorous FAA Airframe and Powerplant curriculum resulting in aviation careers for many local Texans.
Dr. Rice's full obituary is available at www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=james-rice&pid=196564504&fhid=19433.
A lovely tribute, written by Dr. Rice's friend and colleague Vince Jones, was published in AMT Magazine in April: www.aviationpros.com/education-training/article/21142019/jim-rices-career
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Northrop Rice Foundation to help further the Dr. James W. Rice and Mary Alice Rice tradition of education of aviation maintenance personnel.
The FAA recently announced a long list of industry leaders selected to participate in two new FAA-industry workforce initiatives. The committees will come together to make formal recommendations on ways the federal government can encourage women and youth to pursue aviation fields.
The Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force will develop strategies and recommendations for the federal agency to encourage high school students to pursue aviation careers. ATEC member representatives serving on the task force include Dr. Joel English, Executive Vice President of the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Ryan Goertzen, Vice President of Workforce Development for AAR Corp, and James Hall, Dean of Aviation Technologies for WSU Tech.
The Women in Aviation Advisory Board will develop and provide independent recommendations and strategies to the FAA to explore opportunities for encouraging and supporting female students and aviators to pursue a career in aviation. An impressive roster of individuals were chosen as members of the Board, including ATEC member representative Suzanne Markle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics and Stacey Rudser, Director for the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance.
Both groups were created in accordance with Section 612 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-254). The first WIAAB meeting is scheduled for Aug. 11 (see Federal Register notice). While the deadline for non-board members to request an invitation to attend the initial gathering, all meetings are open to the public.
Thank you to those individuals that are volunteering their time to serve. We look forward to seeing the outputs and stand ready to support!
The ATEC Board supports the council's mission and provides leadership and strategic governance. Given term limits imposed by the council bylaws, several director positions will be available this fall.
Duly elected directors serve a four-year term. Positions are available for representatives of both industry and part 147 schools. Nominations will be accepted through Sept. 1.
For more information on qualification requirements and to submit a nomination, visit the Board Nomination page.
Aviation Institute of Maintenance Student Selected as 2020 Scholarship Winner by Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AFMA)
NORFOLK, Va. (July 21, 2020) – Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Norfolk campus (AIM) is proud to announce Harry Dugan as a recipient of a $2,500 scholarship awarded by the AMFA. Each year, the AMFA awards two scholarships to Airframe and Powerplant students who stand out for their grades and application essay. AMFA scholarship recipients must be currently enrolled in a program that is designed to prepare you to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test to obtain an A&P Certification, be U.S. Citizens, and apply with a 500-word essay about safety reporting in the aviation industry. Winners are normally awarded scholarships in person, but due to COVID-19, this years’ plaques and checks were mailed, with campus visits to be scheduled at a later date.
Dugan, originally from New Jersey, enlisted in the Army in 2007 as a Calvary Scout. After serving, he decided to pursue a college degree, which lead him to the aircraft maintenance industry. Megan Lewis, the AIM, Norfolk campus Veterans Affairs Officer, says, “Harry Dugan has a strong maintenance background and thrives on hands-on learning. Harry is involved in the campus Student Veterans’ Organization, boasts perfect attendance, and has a 4.0 GPA. We are so proud of what he is achieving.” Harry is scheduled to graduate in 2021 and is excited to see projected growth in his chosen field.
After much deliberation and assessment by executive leadership and the Annual Conference committee, the trade association has decided to transition this year's in-person event to an online forum.
The Annual Conference, initially scheduled for March 29-April 1 and subsequently postponed to Sept. 13-16, will be held virtually this fall. The agenda will publish later this summer and will consist of shorter, online panels that will take place over the course of a week. Stay tuned for more information as speakers are confirmed and logistics finalized.
Registration fees for the event are $247.50 per person, a 50% discount off the in-person rate. All previously-registered attendees will be automatically enrolled in the virtual event (confirmations will be sent in the coming weeks) and provided a $247.50 credit that can be applied toward any future invoice, including registration for next year's event or to register a colleague for the online conference. To make alternative arrangements, or request a credit memo evidencing your account balance, email Tarra Ruttman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration for the virtual event will include:
We are disappointed ATEC cannot facilitate an in-person event this year, but are very excited for the opportunity to provide an online forum for community engagement and the sharing of industry updates and best practices during these challenging times. And while we are not in a position to confirm dates for next year's Annual Conference given uncertainties surrounding the safety of large gatherings, please plan to join us in Fort Worth once we can ensure a safe and enjoyable event that meets the expectations of all involved.
Applications are now open for the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) scholarship program designed to help aspiring pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians (AMT) and airline managers to pursue their careers.
“Despite the pandemic, accelerated retirements will mean workforce shortages will return and become more acute when the industry recovers," said RACCA President Stan Bernstein. "This is not the time to stop your education and we need to ensure funding is available to help students overcome the barriers associated with the high cost of an aviation education. In recent years, we have helped students pursue AMT, airline management and pilot careers. Ensuring funding is available is an important part of the RACCA mission.”
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 four awards each year in November.
To qualify for the scholarships, applicants must be:
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 and distributed on December 15 to an accredited school.
The RACCA Aviation Scholarship application is available on the RACCA website at www.raccaonline.org/scholarship/.
The 2021 WAI scholarship program officially opens on July 1. There are currently 56 scholarships offered for flight training, engineering, maintenance, dispatcher, and professional development for individuals in all stages of life.
Additional scholarships and internships will be added in the coming weeks and months, with over 100 scholarships expected to be posted by the Fall. Applicants are encouraged to check for new scholarships often and may apply for up to three scholarships per year. All applications must be submitted by Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
To review the opportunities and apply, visit www.wai.org/education/scholarships.
School closures incited by the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way aviation technical programs provide instruction. Along with instruction comes assessment, and the desire for schools to ensure exams are delivered in a safe and secure manner.
For schools exploring remote proctoring solutions, there are many important factors to consider. This webinar will provide an overview of--
Amanda Jayakeerthi, President & CEO, ExamRoom.AI
Steven Kane, Executive Director, SpaceTEC Partners, Inc.
The live webinar took place on Thursday, June 25 at 3 PM CT. View the recorded version, below.
A recent ATEC webinar provided insight into how schools are responding and adapting in the COVID-19 environment. While respondents indicate there will be a decline in A&P school enrollments nationally over the course of the next two years, there is also evidence of innovation as schools pursue distance learning opportunities.
An estimated one in five A&P schools are currently suspended, with around five schools voicing concern over the long-term viability of their programs given extended school shutdowns. Around 40 percent of schools expect a decline in anticipated 2020 graduates, by an average of 28 percent. Perhaps more concerning is the nearly half of respondents reporting an expectation that enrollment will decline by an estimated 31 percent in 2020 and 2021.
Respondents expect that 45 percent of 2020 grads will have a job by graduation, down 15 points since December.
The ability for schools to facilitate completion of lab work is by far the biggest challenge facing A&P programs. While 72 percent of schools are providing at least some content online, none reported the ability to facilitate lab work online, greatly hindering their ability to graduate students. Satisfying FAA requirements is seen as the second biggest challenge for certificated programs.
Over half of programs intend to seek permanent authorization to provide content online, compared to around 3% of schools that had distance learning programs before the COVID pandemic necessitated massive school closures. A clear indication of a massive shift in the way aviation technical programs structure programs and access to content.
ATEC continues to advocate on behalf of the community to improve inspector guidance and ease restrictions on online training. It is also working in Congress on the much-needed passage of the PARTT 147 Act, seeking to replace the current, long-outdated rule with new language. Members are encouraged to use the legislative tool kit to engage their legislative leaders and secure additional support for the bill.
To see a recorded version of the webinar, click here.
To see survey results as provided in the webinar presentation, click here.
Member Editorial: Maintenance Workforce Demands to Spike as Emerging Technologies Deploy and Necessitate Skills Sets Change
ATEC is happy to provide a venue for members to share thoughts and ideas. This month we welcome the following editorial from Stephen Ley, Associate Professor at the School of Aviation Sciences for Utah Valley University. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ATEC. Feel free to contact the author directly with questions or comments. To publish an editorial on this website, email email@example.com.
While most reports on urban mobility and unmanned cargo portray an optimistic picture for dramatically changing the aviation industry, few have focused on workforce challenges they bring to an already challenged industry. Despite the Covid-19 economic impacts on the global maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry, observers see a very bright future for those on the AMT career path.
In fact, I believe, we are on the edge of a technological explosion of new technologies and modalities of air passenger and cargo transportation which will lead to opportunities for new career entry, growth, and advancement. In addition, we are on the edge of an explosion in space transportation which will also require robust MRO capabilities.
Urban Air Mobility (UAM), Large Unmanned Air Cargo (LUCA), and the commercialization of space, are the new growth markets in technology whose integration into our day to day lives will result in an expansion of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), service center, and point of operation maintenance (POM), capabilities and requirements. These technologies are considered ‘disruptors’ in that they change the status quo in how we integrate, consume, operate, and sustain these new modes of air (and space) transportation.
According to the NASA Urban Air Mobility Market Study completed in November 2018, Air Metro flight services (which constitute public transportation utilizing predetermined routes and regular schedules and stops) can be in place and profitable by 2030, with Entry Into Service to occur progressively prior to this. This means that autonomous air vehicles with 2-5 passengers in a eVTOL (electric powered Vertical and Takeoff) configuration will require service, maintenance, and return to service at the point of operation in order to maintain the quick turn-around and economic viability, and safety of those operations.
As a result of these types of operations, vehicle airworthiness certification standards will need to evolve with the technology that will be deployed in service to include electric propulsion, autonomous systems for Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM), navigation, and flight systems. This will require a qualified and certified airframe and maintenance technician with elevated skills beyond the current standards defined by FAR Part 147. This gives our industry, our technician schools and the FAA the impetus to evolve its curriculum to meet this need.
Uber Elevate is leading the pack when it comes to aggressively evaluating the social, economic, technology and infrastructure impact of the deployment of both Air Metro and Air Taxi (unscheduled, on-demand, point to point air transportation) passenger VLOL flight operations. Clearly private venture companies, as well as well known aircraft manufacturers are pursuing this market. Over 200 aircraft are currently under either design, development, prototyping, and actual flight testing. As an example look at Boeing’s air taxi, the Bell Nexus, the Volocopter, XTI Trifan 600, and the Italdesign and Airbus Pop Up. All of these are viable technologies. All will required new, high skilled technicians to support them.
Large Unmanned Cargo Aircraft (LUCA) are currently under design, development and flight testing. The integration and operation of these aircraft will be a watershed moment in our industry. According to Air Cargo News, the global value of trade goods has increased from $10 trillion in 2005 to $17.5 trillion in 2017. The global drone logistics market generated $24 million in revenue in 2018 with projects to grow revenue to $1.6 billion by 2027 through consolidations and expansion of new technologies. New start-up aircraft companies are pursuing the niche market in earnest. These include Saberwing, Elroy Air, and Nautilus as examples. These are viable projects and some are already in flight testing.
New autonomous air cargo aircraft means an expanded and diversely dispersed fleet which will need to be maintained, inspected, and returned to service by qualified technicians further expanding the opportunities within the A&P career field.
The commercialization of space is already successfully expanding within the United States. Space X has been launching unmanned payloads into space very successfully, and affordably. Recent examples include the Starlink satellite delivery launches. SpaceX has now entered the crewed launch market by successfully placing 2 astronauts into space to rendezvous with the International Space Station via their Crew Dragon rocket technology. All of these launch vehicles are reusable and require qualified technicians to maintain them, make repairs and return them to the launch pad.
Additional companies are also pursuing the space payload launch services market as well. These include Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and Boeing. These companies also provide skilled A&P technicians the career opportunity to support the manufacture and testing of these lift vehicles and rocket propulsion systems.
Further research needs to be accomplished to both quantify and qualify the impact these new technologies will have to the aerospace industry and how these air and space vehicles will be maintained and sustained through their entire life cycle. Clearly opportunities for A&P technicians do exist and will continue to develop as these new air and space vehicle technologies are integrated into our day to day lives, and not in the too distant future.
JS Firm advises the MRO community continues to hire and, in a bid to help employees affected by the Covid-19 business disruption navigate this uncertain period, it has scheduled a series of webinars for job seekers. The webinars will be archived for those who cannot view them live.
For Job Seekers the webinars cover maximizing your job search, resume and interview tips. Webinars are customized to aviation disciplines including mechanics and engineers as well as pilots.
JS Firm reports the 15 webinars has boosted new members by 73%. To view the webinar click here. Contact JS Firm here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Media Contact: Michael Biddle
June 9, 2020: The industry favorite Transport Category Aircraft Systems is now in its fourth edition. Transport aircraft systems have undergone many changes in the rapidly advancing electronic age, and this latest edition of Transport Category Aircraft Systems can help you make sense of them. Professor Wild has updated the book to include the latest aircraft and removed the aircraft that are no longer commonly seen.
Designed for readers who already have some knowledge of aeronautical terminology and basic aircraft systems, this book provides in-depth explanations and detailed illustrations of transport-category aircraft and their onboard systems. It introduces complex systems by explaining the basics that are common to all large aircraft. By understanding how a system works on a specific aircraft, the reader can transfer that knowledge to other aircraft.
Transport Category Aircraft Systems 4th edition will be available for order in July. If you have any questions regarding this textbook or would like to place a preorder you can call or email us at: 800.828.6835, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.
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In May, ATEC ran a survey targeted at aviation maintenance technician schools. The objective was to gather information on COVID-19 impacts on school operations and graduate and enrollment expectations, and identify ways the council can support the community during the on-going pandemic.
This webinar will provide an overview of the results, and action items to address the fallout. The live version will take place on June 4 at 1:00 PM CT.
Charles Taylor was the first aircraft mechanic and the original unsung hero of aviation. He worked for the Wright brothers in their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. When they could not find a company to build them an engine for their glider, Charlie made one from scratch in about 6 weeks.
In honor of AMT Day, hear a little more about his story at https://vimeo.com/420492939/e8535aa90a (brought to you by the Mechanical Dragons).
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.