With last week’s passage of the FY 2020 appropriates package for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies, the workforce grant programs moves forward but at half the funding level called for in the FAA reauthorization, which prescribed $5 million for maintenance grants and $5 million for pilot grants. The Senate bill calls for $5 million for both the maintenance and pilot grant programs. House and Senate conferees must now gather to determine the amount of funding for the two programs in the final conference report/appropriations bill.
An industry coalition – consisting of 42 aviation organizations, including ATEC – will shortly be sending a letter to House and Senate appropriators urging full funding. While the coalition acknowledges Senate passage as a step in the right direction, it urged everyone to get involved in ensuring appropriators know the importance of these grant programs especially given the vagaries of the FY 2020 appropriations process.
For more information, see the previous news post, AMT, Pilot Programs May Fall Short, or download the legislative issues one-pager on the Legislative advocacy page.
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.
The 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.
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 delivered a letter to congressional leaders voicing its opposition to The Protect Students Act of 2019 (S.867). Masked rhetorically as a student protection aid, the bill would severely limit proprietary aviation maintenance technician schools from serving students and veterans, and negatively impact aerospace companies looking to hire FAA-certified A&P mechanics and other aviation technical personnel.
"Twenty-three of the 171 FAA-certificated schools are proprietary institutions. While these schools only make up 13% of the AMTS population, they produce 25% of AMTS graduates within the United States—one out of every four aviation maintenance graduates are produced from tax-paying proprietary institutions," said ATEC Executive Director Crystal Maguire in a letter to the bill's co-sponsors. "If enacted, S.867 would threaten the continued viability of these proprietary schools and negatively impact an estimated 1,000 student veterans currently enrolled in these schools."
Historically, the U.S. Government has required many things of proprietary schools that it does not require of public universities, community colleges, or non-profit institutions. One of these requirements is the 90/10 rule, which mandates that proprietary schools derive no more than 90% of their income from Title IV financial aid funding sources (such as Pell Grants and Stafford Loans). The remaining 10% must come from other funding sources such as student payments, family contributions, employer assistance, vocational rehab, Veterans Administration benefits, and the GI Bill.
S.867 seeks to change the 90/10 ratio to 85/15—meaning the 10% of required income from non-Title IV sources would increase to 15%—and recategorize GI Bill benefits as a federal Title IV funding source. If Veterans Benefits were considered Title IV funding, many of our proprietary schools would have to stop taking GI Bill funds to meet the new ratio requirements. Consequently, the military would default on its promise to veterans that they can use their GI Bill at any accredited and approved institution of higher education, and likely school shut downs would cost the aerospace industry a quarter of its mechanic school graduates.
The proposed law comes at a time when the aviation industry is preparing for a massive technical workforce shortage. ATEC’s recent Pipeline Report found that mechanics are retiring faster than they are being replaced; the mechanic population is expected to decrease 5% in the next 15 years. Oliver Wyman, a technical consulting group, forecasts that demand for aviation maintenance technicians will outstrip supply by 2022. The Aeronautical Repair Station Association estimates the technician shortage is costing industry $100 million per month. Meanwhile, forecasts by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Boeing, and Airbus project a need for thousands of additional mechanics in the next 10-20 years.
Get more information on this issue and other ATEC legislative priorities in the council's Legislative Tool Kit.
More than forty one organizations, including ATEC, sent a letter to transportation committee leadership in both the House and the Senate, asking for full funding of a grant program created by Section 625 of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-254).
The grant programs, spearheaded by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) and supported by a broad industry coalition, were created and included in the reauthorization bill to help recruit and educate the next generation of aerospace maintenance workers and pilots.
While getting the programs authorized was major victory for the coalition, its work is far from complete. The next step is to convince Congress to appropriate the money necessary to provide the grants.
The March 27 letter furthered those efforts, urging committee leadership to provide full funding for these programs through the fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations process.
Read the letter in its entirety by clicking here.
When the FAA Reauthorization Bill H.R. 302 is signed into law, ATEC and its industry allies will have successfully secured a congressional mandate for a fast-tracked new part 147.
The directive in section 624 of the reauthorization bill currently reads:
(a) REGULATIONS.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue a final rule to modernize training programs at aviation maintenance technician schools governed by part 147 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.
(b) GUIDANCE.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall coordinate with government, educational institutions, labor organizations representing aviation maintenance workers, and businesses to develop and publish guidance or model curricula for aviation maintenance technician schools referred to in subsection (a) to ensure workforce readiness for industry needs, including curricula related to training in avionics, troubleshooting, and other areas of industry needs.
(c) REVIEW AND PERIODIC UPDATES.—The Administrator shall--
(1) ensure training programs referred to in subsection (a) are revised and updated in correlation with aviation maintenance technician airman certification standards as necessary to reflect current technology and maintenance practices; and
(2) publish updates to the guidance or model curricula required under subsection (b) at least once every 2 years, as necessary, from the date of initial publication.
(d) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—If the Administrator does not issue such final rule by the deadline specified in subsection (a), the Administrator shall, not later than 30 days after such deadline, submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report containing--
(1) an explanation as to why such final rule was not issued by such deadline; and
(2) a schedule for issuing such final rule.
In November 2015, the FAA issued a part 147 notice of proposed rulemaking. ATEC submitted extensive comments, supported by a coalition of allies, calling for a less-prescriptive rule that would allow for competency-based programs and the freedom to cater training to industry needs.
In September 2017, the FAA announced its intention to issue a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM), which suggests that the proposed rule had been substantially changed in response to comments received. The public is still awaiting publication of the supplement. Government officials have indicated it will be published by year end.
Once the supplement is published, the public will have 2-3 months to comment, and the agency will take some time to adjudicate those comments before issuing a final rule.
Given what still needs to be done before a new part 147 is promulgated, it is unlikely that industry will see a new part 147 in six months as the law will direct. However, the congressional directive should ensure that the agency makes the rulemaking a high priority and help fast-track it through the regulatory process.
Given the law will also direct the agency to consider imminent mechanic airman certification standards (ACS) for program development; it would behoove program administrators to begin reviewing that draft document with an eye toward curriculum revision (the latest and future revisions of the draft document will be available at www.atec-amt.org/airman-certification-standards).
The final ACS is expected to publish in June 2019, with a June 2020 implementation date. The agency will work with industry representatives to revise the document periodically thereafter. Once published, the working group will make recommendation that the ACS not be revised for at least two years to give schools time to adapt to the change.
Since it is possible that we will not have a new part 147 before the ACS is published—even with the congressional mandate—schools will need to ensure compliance with the regulation while also adequately preparing A&P grads for the FAA mechanic test, which will be based on the ACS.
The legislation also calls for the agency to develop guidance material or model curriculum to aid program development. ATEC expects draft guidance will be issued along with the SNPRM and look forward to making extensive comment to that document to ensure alignment with the ACS.
Last Saturday, Congress published a five-year FAA reauthorization bill expected to pass both chambers. To the delight of the aviation maintenance community, the bill contains an entire title focused on workforce development, including a directive to create a federally-funded grant program (see related story) and a provision that will require promulgation of part 147 within six months (see related story).
An excerpt of all workforce provisions contained in H.R. 302, Title VI—Aviation Workforce are available here. To summarize--
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation on May 8 to address one of the most pressing challenges facing the U.S. aviation industry: the chronic technician shortage.
The bill sponsored by Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) is the House companion to Senate legislation introduced in March. It creates a new program administered by the FAA to provide grants of up to $500,000 to support aviation maintenance workforce development activities. The legislation incentivizes local collaboration by requiring that grant applications be jointly submitted by a business or labor organization, school and governmental entity.
And aviation coalition, including ATEC, sent a May 8 letter in support of the House bill.
The two independent bills now await FAA reauthorization conference negotiations, the goal is to enact the grant program via that larger funding bill.
US Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a bill to improve training programs at aviation maintenance technician schools. If enacted, the statute would require Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) promulgation of a new part 147 within six months. The regulation that governs aviation maintenance technician schools has not been significantly revised since it was re-codified into the Code of Federal Regulations in 1962.
Industry has fought long and hard for a revision to part 147, which dictates static curriculum requirements for schools teaching future aviation mechanics. Over the past decade, representatives have provided specific recommendations through a 2007 Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, proposed regulatory language in its comments to the 2015 notice of proposed rulemaking, responded to additional requests for information through submission of supplemental comments and facilitation of surveys, and participated in working groups that will improve mechanic testing standards and correlated training programs.
"While the education community will continue to lend support, and appreciates the time and effort required for well thought out and monitored rulemaking, it refuses to sit by and wait for regulatory relief while industry and our students continue to pay for outdated training regulations," said ATEC Legislative Chairman and Southern Utah University Director of Maintenance Jared Britt.
This is not the first time congress has pushed for a new rule. In the last three years, congressional representatives have sent four letters to the agency requesting a status update. "It was time we did something more than just inquire, and we are grateful that our elected leaders are taking the next step," said Britt.
An industry coalition—spearheaded by ATEC—sent a letter in support of the bill, asking Congress to support the future aviation workforce, in support of an industry constantly driving for more innovative, safer and more efficient aircraft. Signatories of the letter included:
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Aerospace Industries Association
Aerospace Maintenance Council
Aircraft Electronics Association
Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association
Airlines for America
Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance
Aviation Maintenance Technician Association
Aviation Suppliers Association
Aviation Technician Education Council
Cargo Airline Association
Helicopter Association International
International Air Transport Association
Modification and Replacement Parts Association
National Air Carrier Association
National Air Transportation Association
National Business Aviation Association, Inc.
Professional Aviation Maintenance Association
Regional Airline Association
Women in Aviation International
The statute would also require that curriculum be revised and updated in coordination with emerging aviation maintenance technician airman certification standards, something an industry working group helping to develop the new standard has already recommended.
While the text has not been officially published as of the date of this post, it will soon be available at www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2792?r=6.
Senate media releases:
Washington, DC – An amendment submitted by Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Bill Keating (R-MA) to H.R.4, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization, passed the House of Representatives. It is expected that H.R. 4 will pass the House later in the week.
The Ryan-Keating Amendment would direct the FAA to lead coordinated efforts between government, educational institutions, labor organizations, and the private sector to regularly evaluate workforce priorities and ensure aviation maintenance training programs are preparing the next generation of the aviation workforce to fill the types of jobs the industry needs. According to Boeing, from now until 2036, North American commercial airlines will need over 100,000 new technicians. An example of the type of institution that is preparing new technicians to meet this urgent industry need and would benefit from the amendment is the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics - Youngstown and Warren Campus.
The Ryan-Keating Amendment also directs the U.S. Government Accountability Office to make evidence-based recommendations on how to best strengthen and expand aviation training programs by addressing public funding, equipment, and other needs.
“I am pleased that our amendment to strengthen aviation technician training was included in the FAA reauthorization bill. This legislation will be beneficial to programs across the United States, including at Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics - Youngstown and Warren Campus by better preparing enrolled students to fill the jobs that are needed by the aviation industry. Public-private partnerships are critical to our long-term economic success, and this new collaboration between government, educational institutions, and the private sector will be a shining example of what we can do when we come together to transform our economy, and our communities,” said Congressman Tim Ryan.
“As the scarcity of aviation personnel becomes ever more critical, aviation maintenance educators are encouraged by the proposed Ryan-Keating Amendment, which would provide the necessary coordination among all parties impacted by this labor shortage. In order for technical schools like Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics – Youngstown branch campus to attract students into this highly specialized field which often escapes the notice of the traveling public, we must be able to provide students with the best possible educational facilities, updated equipment and technology which mirrors the aircraft systems currently in use, a means to inform youth and displaced workers about aviation careers, ample flexibility by the FAA to ensure the most current and effective course content and delivery, and funding for students in educational programs which support the future aviation workforce,” said Suzanne Markle, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.
“There are good union jobs out there for the taking and we need to make sure our people are trained and ready to fill them,” said Congressman Keating. “Aviation maintenance is a field where we know high-skilled, well-paying jobs will be available in the near future and with aviation safety constantly evolving, programs like the ones at Cape Cod Community College need to have our full support. It is so important that Cape Cod Community College and others have spearheaded these programs with their limited resources to prepare our students for these jobs. We need to do our part to make it easier for these programs going forward so that even more can emerge around the country and so that current programs can access the information and resources they need to keep up with industry needs so our aviation maintenance program graduates are ready to hit the ground running.”
Utah Senator Orrin Hatch made formal inquiry into the status of the anticipated revised proposal for 14 CFR part 147, the regulation governing curriculum requirements for aviation maintenance technician schools.
In addition to the update, Sen. Hatch highlighted the need for a rule that provides more flexibility:
"As you may know, Utah schools are home to many aviation education programs, including those for aviation maintenance technicians. I have repeatedly heard from constituents who wish to have updated, less burdensome regulations for these programs. I share in their concerns that the rule is in major need of an update to keep up with the expanding global aviation sector and modernized aircraft."
The FAA has stated than an SNPRM will be issued in October 2017.
Congressman Gus Bilirakis, representative of Florida's 12th District, joined his distinguished colleagues asking for an update on promulgation of new regulations governing aviation maintenance technician schools.
In his request, Rep. Bilirakis stated, "I am encouraged to see the FAA recognize the need to modernize and reorganize these important regulations in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice No. 15-10) and I believe the FAA should focus efforts to complete the rulemaking process efficiently."
Bilirakis joins Reps. Lamar Smith (TX), Tom Rice (SC) and Jim Bridenstine (OK) in their call for FAA action on part 147. In a Feb. 12, 2016 response to the Rice/Bridenstine letter, Administrator Huerta stated that "the part 147 rulemaking is among the highest priorities for the FAA."
Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21), at ATEC and member Hallmark University's prodding, sent a congressional inquiry asking for an update on the Federal Aviation Administration's rulemaking efforts for part 147, the regulation that governs operations and curriculum requirements for aviation maintenance technician schools.
In his letter, Rep. Smith states: "Part 147 is long overdue for modernization. Schools certificate under the current regulation are mandated by law to teach skills that do not add to the preparation of students pursuing high-tech aviation jobs. Any further delays in modernization will detrimentally affect students and industry." The congressman goes on to request that the agency respond with an expected promulgation date.
This is the second such inquiry made on behalf of the aviation community. Last February, Representatives Tom Rice (S.C.) and Jim Bridenstine (Okla.) sent a letter asking the FAA to make the rulemaking its highest priority. An FAA response stated that was indeed the case, and that the agency is committed to "delivering regulation that encompasses new technology and remains flexible to grow and adapt with the industry."
Update: On Aug. 29, 2017, the FAA responded to Smith's inquiry, stating that "several commentators suggested expanding the scope of [the] proposal to allow for competency-based training and satellite facilities... Because these two topics were not proposed in the NPRM, the FAA is required by law to publish a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) seeking public comment. We expect the SNPRM to be ready for publication later this fall, along with a draft Advisory Circular 147-3... The FAA is aware of the importance of the AMTS rule and will make every effort to expedite its issuance."
ATEC is initiating a grassroots campaign to garner legislative support for expeditious issuance of the new part 147. To support those efforts, ATEC contributed an opinion article to a leading political publication, The Hill. The piece highlights the ever-growing need for a modernized regulation governing aviation maintenance technician training. It will be used to educate lawmakers on the issue during the council's annual Fly-In, held each year in Washington DC.
Read and share the article, found here: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/transportation/345631-aviation-struggles-with-50-year-old-maintenance-training
ATEC officially enlisted Congress in the council’s effort to update 14 CFR part 147. After weeks of development, Representatives Tom Rice (S.C.) and Jim Bridenstine (Okla.) sent a letter asking the FAA to make the rulemaking its highest priority.
To ensure a final rule is issued efficiently, the letter emphasized that the “outdated part 147 mandates hinder the aviation maintenance industry's ability to compete and grow” and encouraged the agency to “continue on the course identified in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.”
The effort to produce a final rule updating 147 is a top priority for ATEC. Stay tuned as the council continues to use every avenue to improve AMTS’s regulatory foundation.
February 2, 2016 update: Administrator Huerta responds to the congressional letter, stating in part "The part 147 rulemaking is among the highest priorities for the FAA. We are committed to delivering regulation that encompasses new technology and remains flexible to grow and adapt with the industry... The FAA will proceed with this rulemaking as timely and efficiently as possible while adhering to the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act."
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.